What's the deal this year with durum?

Durum wheat has historically been a profitable crop, for drier parts of the country and especially for farmers in the Palliser Triangle. Farmers are moving into durum cropping and the projected tonnage may increase to as high as six million tonnes, contrary to the projected drop in tonnage according to Statistics Canada.

Neil Townsend, Senior Market Analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions, says there is significant demand for durum, as previous crops were poor in countries like Tunisia and Morocco. Other durum growing countries may have a better crop, and therefore not as much demand, as is the case with Turkey. But in the case of Algeria, whose main export is petroleum, which is suffering lately due to pricing, they may be in a tough spot to import durum if their crop does not yield well.

In the current 2020 market, Canadian durum farmers may be deterred from selling forward as quality discounts can be severe. Aggressively pricing the new crop durum will be tricky unless there’s a way to eliminate some of the price risks.

“There is a price point, where you do start to crush demand” warns Townsend. Countries may be priced out of the market and will have to substitute durum for another crop.

Listen to the full conversation between Townsend and Shaun Haney, below:

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