We are now through week six of the Covid-19 business shutdown for non-essential services and in that time, other than new broader safety protocols, the mustard industry has seen few problems – at least from our experience. Supply lines that include growers, trucks and the mustard cleaning/storage facility are working very well. Olds Products is very thankful to the many partners that keep the mustard running smoothly . There was a definite uptick in grocer demand but a decrease in the food service sector (restaurants). Overall grocery demand was up 25% for the last month and that has now levelled off to the normal levels of a busy spring.
Mustard consumption is often associated with baseball and it is true that anywhere you find a hot dog there will be mustard. However the effect of no baseball, even for a season, for mustard is not that significant.
Overall, the demand for CDN/USA grown mustard has been and should be about the same as in previous years and this has/will maintain current spot prices at relatively high levels.
On the supply side look for mustard acres to stay even with last year in both Canada and the USA but with a move towards more yellow and less brown acres in Canada. Brown acres and yields were well above average the past two years, but even with that said the spot price has held up well and perhaps France, with the lion’s share of demand, is buying more than usual.
With three months remaining in the current crop year we are committed to having all our grower contracted mustard picked up before 31-July and it will be a busy shipping period. Thank you for your patience. We will continue to focus on yellow grower pick-ups in May, then move to brown in June, followed by organic yellow/ brown in July.
Despite the yellow quality issues (damaged by repeated frost/rains at harvest) in some key mustard growing areas in 2019 we have thus far picked up mustard from all but three growers in Saskatchewan who have much higher levels of green damaged seed along with high moisture issues. The extent of the damage that we have seen thus far at the cleaning plant is not as widespread as earlier expected and is also mitigated by aggressive cleaning.
Most mustard growing areas in Canada and the USA have not started seeding due to the cold spring but there is still plenty of time. Temperatures are starting to warm up this week and look for seeding to start next week in most areas.
Planting seed is fully delivered in Canada and the USA contract growers will be 100% complete on Saturday. Thank you.