Jonathon Meyer is a Grain Merchandiser for Purely Canada Foods and we caught up with him recently to talk about durum acres, prices and the outlook of that commodity for farmers.
Reports out of the Durum Summit have global supply and demand fairly balanced. “I think seeded acres will stick around that 6 million mark, similar to last year” Meyer stated. He also mentioned that the price of spring wheat and durum have come within a dollar per bushel and that would cause a few fringe areas to switch back to wheat.
“There's some better yielding varieties of wheat out there” said Meyer. “But all in all, we're not expecting much change going into next year. Durum growers are passionate about durum.” He doesn't expect to see a change in seeded acres in the heart of the durum country, which is in the Eston area.
Meyer expects new crop prices to come out around $11/bu to $11.50/bu range depending on origin.
Canada plays a big part in the world durum market, even though we only produce 15% of the world’s Durum. “What happens in Canada drives the bus for durum” said Meyer.
Canada will typically grow 6 million tons of durum and we export 5 million tons to foreign markets. “North Africa is the biggest customer. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are big buyers but they tend to sit and watch markets. Italy is the market to watch.” He wanted to stress that what's happening in Canada is the big driver of the price.
He also wanted to stress that a lot of good varieties are available for farmers looking to seed durum this year, and many of those exciting new varieties were highlighted at the Durum Summit. But that wasn’t biggest takeaway from the Durum Summit 2023 held in Swift Current February 1st.
“I think the biggest takeaway for me from was the attendance. There was over 275 people there and I think it shows that Durum is alive and well in Canada. We've had some struggles the last couple of years with rainfall. 70% of the Durum area in Canada is under a close weather watch. Once we get some rain Durum is going to continue to be a profit leader for a lot of Canadian farmers.”
We caught up with him while he was working at the Lajord plant, although he is based out of Regina, and has roots in Eston.