Beans are a funny thing my fine-feathered friends

Beans

Beans are a funny thing my fine-feathered friends, they are often overlooked, under appreciated, and typically not a big deal to the average person. However, for those who have been intoxicated by bean dust upon entering a mill, it’s effects can lasts a lifetime. Some lifers in the bean industry have even compare it to contriving a miner’s “gold fever”. Christmas came early for me this year because a few days before Jesus birthday, I was visited by 2 wise men which brought me gifts in the form of bright beautiful beans. The first wise man was from Nicaragua, Central America has always grown beans, particularly small red beans known as Frijol Rojo de Seda. I was given a sample of new crop and was blown away by the shiny red glow which I thought only Rudolph’s nose could provide.

The second wise man was from Canada and he had bright colored pinto beans that reminded me of Santa’s long white flowing beard. The beans looked so good I almost wanted to use them as stocking stuffer’s for my family & friends, but then I thought they might think I’ve gone crazy! Pinto beans from Canada are always in the market trading, but they are often overlooked in terms of color for their American Rocky Mountain counterparts; which I’m not sure why…. when there is quality like this floating around.

Anyhow, the morale of the story here is there are many places in the world growing beautiful beans. Though science and seed genetics plays an important role; the biggest qualitative differences are determined by terroir, Mother Nature, care & facilitation during growth, harvesting technique, processing, and storage.

As we roll out of 2013 with some salt behind it, we gladly welcome 2014 with open arms! Heading into the big close of the year, bean prices are steady with some exceptions. Most notably, Great Northern’s have outperformed in terms of price and are heading to Saturn, because they are now well passed the moon! Finding some of these types of beans will require substantial effort and once you do find some… be prepared to pay up the nose for them! You might even have to get a second mortgage on your house to acquire a position of GN’s worth trading. All this GN commotion has caused Navy’s to get some lift under it’s wings as consumers start to buy more of them in lieu of skyrocketing northern’s. Small reds are another variety that will be strong going into 2014 and I feel they have more room to run as their story is bullish on low supply lines.
As far as black beans go, the market is looking stable at the moment but Michigan blacks are going to be hard to come by as we get deeper year in. North Dakota might be able to turn up the heat on Michigan black bean growers IF (and that’s a BIG IF!)… they are able to get the moisture rates at the appropriate levels and offer the market a substantial discount versus MI blacks.

And finally pintos…. what can I say about pintos? Definitely the laggard in the group, steady downhill prices since harvest. Not much enthusiasm in the markets for pintos at the moment, but we have a long way to go until next new crop. Price action seems to be “wanting to show a rounding bottom” but no confirmation yet on that. Pinto growers across the board seem to be halted at $38 hard, let’s see what the new year brings there.

2014 is setting up to be another fun and exciting year in the dry bean industry. I look forward to seeing you all back here very soon for some more dry bean commentary in 2014, from all of us here at F.Garcia….We hope everyone has a blessed and Happy New Year!

Bottom line: Whatever you choose to do in 2014, make sure it makes you happy because if it doesn’t, then it won’t be worth it! ….and don’t forget to pray and take your vitamins! (I stole the last line from Hulk Hogan…Hope you don’t mind Terry!)