GRAIN CHECK: AGT Foods Australia administration assistant Amy Langdon inspecting beans at the company's sampling bridge at Bowmans. Pulse deliveries started coming in to the Bowmans site in late October, but slowed down by Christmas. Quality has been generally good across SA.

Pulse quality shines but prices stay flat

SA pulse quality is shining out as the best in the nation this season, with NSW and Vic crops tested by frost and dry conditions.

SA pulse quality is shining out as the best in the nation this season, with NSW and Vic crops tested by frost and dry conditions.

But there are few signals pulse prices will rise in the near future.

AGT Foods Australia SA acquisition manager Leigh Wright says at the moment prices are in the lower deciles.

“Lentils went up a bit during harvest, and were close to $500 a tonne, but they’ve come back to the low $400s,” he said. “Chickpeas were $1250/t and they’ve come back to $900/t.”

Faba beans and Kaspa peas were about $300/t.

Apart from the Indian tariff lifting, Mr Wright said another aspect that could boost prices was how crop conditions played out in India.

“How the Indian crops finish off is one thing to watch,” he said. “They’re sitting on a reasonable crop at the moment, but there’s not a lot of rain forecast.”

Mr Wright said SA deliveries were generally of very good quality.

“Particularly early on in the harvest, the quality was excellent,” he said. “Then there were a few rain events in December that set a few guys back. Vic production has been OK but the quality has been affected by frost and rain events.

“It was a fairly poor season for pulses in northern NSW. SA has definitely got the better quality pulses this year.”

Mr Wright said SA yields were about average, with tonnages back to due to wild weather in November. 

“Some guys on the Yorke Peninsula and Mid North lost up to 50 per cent of their crop from wind damage,” he said.

Mr Wright said there was growing interest from the Riverland in sowing chickpeas and lentils this past season. 

“Where they’ve usually grown Kaspa peas in the past, there’s been a few more chickpeas and lentils grown,” he said.

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