A POSITIVE outlook for pulses was given at a new demonstration day held in North Yorkshire.

Andy Bury, president of the British Edible Pulses Association (BPE), was speaking at last week’s PGRO event at Stockbridge Technology Centre, near Selby.

Looking at the market for beans for harvest 2014, he pointed out that with a bigger area of winter beans in the ground and a reduced acreage of springs, the crop size could be ten to15 per cent less than last year, while the French have an unchanged crop size.

Mr Bury said: “To date the weather has been perfect for the UK crop for both yield and quality. Demand from Egypt is looking strong as their crop was poor, and many of the old crop Australian beans have been put into cold storage for Ramadan.”

The main market driver for this coming season would continue to be Egypt. Values there will depend on the quality and availability of French beans, the relative strength of sterling against the dollar, and the quality of the UK crop.

“UK domestic demand will again be limited as it is only the Aquaculture and bean and rapeseed extrusion plants that will continue to use beans,” he said.

However, he was in no doubt the area of pulses grown would increase over the next two years partly due to reduced returns from oilseed rape while the cost of growing it continues to rise. “Also with the increasing blackgrass problem, many growers will be looking for more spring crops,” said Mr Bury.

“So with a bigger pulse crop, bean values will get pressured, but with 2015 values already trading at a 40/t premium over wheat.”