The 2023 North American mustard harvest started in Montana in early August and is now finishing up in Canada and North Dakota. The quality looks very good as dry harvest weather was very favorable everywhere. Yields look to be in line with earlier predictions from our July crop tour and overall, the average for Canada will be the second lowest in the last five years. The 2023 USA yield average will likely be better than 2021 and 2022 and due largely to the increase in Montana where earlier rains in May were beneficial. Despite some late season hail storms average yield per harvested acre in the USA will be between 650-700 lbs/acre compared to 200-400 lbs/acre the previous two years.
Despite the lower yields in Canada, the number of harvested acres (625,000 acres-highest in 5 years) will support a significant surplus supply into the 2024-25 season. USA also planted the highest number of mustard acres in the past 5 year at 240,000 acres and with an average estimated yield of 600 lbs/acre the domestic demand could largely be met with domestic supply! Almost all of the mustard acres in the USA are yellow whereas in Canada my estimate of the acre split is 55% yellow, 30% brown and 15% oriental. Historically most of the yellow grown in Canada is exported to the USA but given the amount of yellow grown in the USA in 2023 there will be a surplus of yellow mustard in North America.
Russia and Ukraine are also in good export positions for yellow and offers have been lowered in recent months.
Despite the potential surplus, at least for yellow, the yellow spot price has held up strongly in the past month as the harvest continued. Brown and Oriental mustard spot prices have also remained strong even as the harvest in Canada comes to a close.
A portion of the surplus yellow, brown and oriental will provide a much-needed buffer going into the 2024-25 season after two years with no buffer stocks. Some of the buffer stocks will be in buyers’ hands but a significant amount will also remain with spot growers who await their next opportunity.
Given the return of buffer stocks of mustard it is likely that contract prices for mustard will come off the record highs in 2023 but given the current dry soil conditions I believe the retreat will be modest and perhaps back to levels in 2022.
Thank you for sending harvest samples to our office in Pleasant Prairie. In addition to our analysis, we also send a portion of each sample to the Canadian Grain Commission for their analysis and annual quality report.
We look forward to the next contracting period for mustard and the return of our past growers in 2024. We are so thankful to have you on our team.