As expected, U.S. growers have indicated they intend to plant significantly more dry beans in 2002--acreage could rise 24 percent to 1.77 million. This increase is in response to low stocks and higher prices stemming from last years small crop. Since dry bean planting does not finish until June in some areas, further adjustments to indicated acreage may take place. The next acreage estimate for dry beans will be released by USDA/NASS in the June 28 Acreage report.
In the late-March Prospective Plantings report, a few indicated area intentions were as follows:
- North Dakota, the leading producer of all beans and the leader in pintos, indicated a 36-percent rise;
- Michigan, hit hard by drought in 2001 and the main source of black beans, plans a 40-percent rise;
- Minnesota, a diverse producer and leading source of dark red kidney beans, plans a 43-percent rise;
- Colorado, second in pinto beans, indicated a 17-percent increase in dry bean area;
- California, a diverse producer planting its lowest area on record in 2001, plans a 20-percent rise;
- Nebraska, the leading source of Great Northern beans, indicated a 9-percent rise in 2002. Most of the gain here may be in pintos and classes other than Great Northerns, which appear to be in adequate supply.
Assuming average weather this summer and fall and sufficient irrigation water in the Northwest, a return to 30-year trend yields (16.9 cwt/acre) and a reduction in acreage abandonment (it was the highest since 1993 last year) could boost production more than the level indicated by acres planted.
Grower Prices Up 46 Percent
Dealer prices and grower bids continue to strengthen for many of the major bean classes. The U.S. aggregate grower price for all dry beans averaged 46 percent above a year earlier during the first 7 months of the marketing year (September 2001 - March 2002). During this time, the grower bids for several of the major classes changed as follows;
- Pintos, $22.90up 102 percent from a year earlier;
- Navy, $21.85up 106 percent;
- Great Northern, $16.25up 7 percent;
- Black, $31.75up 199 percent;
- Light red kidney, $25.21up 28 percent;
- Chickpeas, $26.05down 6 percent;
- Baby lima, $29.35up 14 percent.
Export Volume Down 28 Percent
During the first 6 months of the 2001/02 marketing year (September-February), dry bean export volume declined 28 percent from a year earlier and 23 percent from 2 years ago. Exports were down for most classes, with the notable exception of pink beans (up 110 percent), baby lima (up 42 percent), and large lima (up 12 percent). Among the top bean classes, volume was lower for navy (down 39 percent), pinto (down 31 percent), and Great Northern (down 23 percent). With U.S. prices higher and stocks dwindling, export volume ran lower to Japan (down 24 percent), Mexico (down 36 percent), the U.K. (down 26 percent), and Canada (down 17 percent). On the import side, September - February total dry bean import volume was more than double that of a year ago.