The Northharvest Bean Growers Association released bearish news today for the pinto bean market as an expected much larger supply is likely to drive prices down into the twenty-dollar range for growers. Pinto values have been in a decline across the marketplace in a slow parachute-like drop, and the United States Department of Agriculture did not establish any pinto bean prices this week in most bean growing states as they prepare the market for new crop pricing in the coming weeks. The exception was in WA/ID, which did post current crop pricing at $42/44, but even those values cannot be taken too seriously because they are not reflective of market sentiment. The market is feeling a bit anxious at the moment because on one hand producers do not want to see a free-fall in prices all of a sudden, however; other segments of the industry would welcome lower prices too. Unfortunately for United States bean growers, processors, and exporters, Mexico also seems to be having the appropriate weather conditions for a good crop this year, which will make them less likely to import US pinto beans. Mexico will instead end up competing with us for export business this season. For now, let’s hope the parachute has already been deployed, and a slow descend is in place preparing for a soft landing on solid ground somewhere between here and there.
Dry beans: Production of dry edible beans is forecast at 28.7 million cwt, up 17 percent from last year. Planted area is estimated at 1.67 million acres, up 23 percent from 2013. Harvested area is forecast at 1.61 million acres, 23 percent above the previous year. The average United States yield is forecast at 1,784 pounds per acre, a decrease of 83 pounds from a year ago.
In North Dakota, planting was virtually complete by June 22, well ahead of last year but equal to the 5-year average. As of August 3, development remained behind the normal pace. In Nebraska, planting was virtually complete by June 22, near the normal pace. By early-August, the crop was rated mostly good to excellent. Michigan’s planting began ahead of schedule and was finished by the end of June. Conditions have been favorable for the crop and by August 1 the crop was rated 75 percent good to excellent.
Fundamentally speaking, things look good due to favorable weather conditions and more acres in most parts. Prices should decline to lower levels on certain varieties of beans and pulses when new crop starts shipping out into the market. Growers and shippers of certain colored varieties like Great Northerns and Red Kidneys will have a larger supply this year in hopes seeing last year’s high values again. There will be a larger supply of pinto beans this year along with a variety of color options, and the higher number of CWT produced in North Dakota & other pinto bean growing regions should drive prices to lower levels growers won’t be satisfied with.