PGRO estimates that about 20% of the UK pulse crop is still left to harvest. So far yield and quality have suffered as a result of hot, dry weather in the growing season, says chief executive of PGRO, Roger Vickers.
“Bruchid beetle levels have been unprecedentedly high, and the lack of moisture has caused significant variability of grain size within crops, and even pods, with substantial discolouration arising as well.
“It is estimated that the average bean crop will be down by up to 25% and that peas might be down 15 to 20% year-on-year, with an average yield of about 2.5t/ha. With a reduction in crop area over 2017 expected, this will potentially put some pressure on supply,” says Mr Vickers.
Also, factoring in the summer forage shortage on stock farms and the early consumption of winter rations, there may be an increase in beans retained for on farm use and therefore not available to the trade, according to PGRO.
Some uncertainty exists about seed availability for winter beans. The effects of the growing season on seed quality is still to be determined, but yields of good quality seed will have been reduced, says Mr Vickers.
He adds: “All of this leaves the market in a more heightened level of uncertainty both in terms of supply and demand for the current market and forward pricing for crops in 2019, which look almost certain to rise. What is clear is that demand is currently well supported in all sectors of the UK pulse market.”