Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Canola, wheat acres in opposite trends before StatsCan report

'Every commodity was offering options that were profitable'

(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Just days prior to Statistics Canada issuing its latest survey-based crop acreage report on Tuesday next week, analysts are estimating a rise in canola acres at the expense of wheat.

“Coming through the winter and towards spring seeding, we were looking at canola prices that were at their highest levels of all time,” said MarketsFarm Pro analyst Mike Jubinville, adding that the changes in both wheat and canola acres from the March estimates to those in June have also occurred over the past five years.

“While we were still looking at attractive wheat prices…every commodity was offering options that were profitable. It was just that canola was head and shoulders above everyone else,” he said.

MarketsFarm expert Bruce Burnett projects Statistics Canada will raise its canola acres estimate by 820,000 acres, to 22.35 million. Some of those additional acres will be reallocated from wheat, whose acreage Burnett predicts will decline by 460,000 acres, to 22.8 million. Most of that decrease would come from a 305,000-acre decline in durum acres to 5.4 million.

Barley is also expected to go down in acres. Burnett predicts a 313,000-acre drop, to 8.3 million. Wheat and barley’s combined acreage losses comprise 93 per cent of canola’s gains.

Out of the other major crops nationwide, he projects oat acres to decline the most, by 208,000 acres to 3.4 million. Pea, lentil and corn acres will go up, while flax and soybean acres will go down, all by fewer than 100,000 acres.

Burnett also added there weren’t too many last-minute changes in seeding intentions by farmers, other than some additional canola acres.

“Farmers largely stuck to their rotations. (But the) increase is canola is solely due to the pricing,” he said. “(Seeding) was on the dry side, but that certainly allowed the crop to get into the ground quickly.”

Meanwhile, Winnipeg-based trader Keith Ferley of RBC Dominion Securities said his company predicts 22.6 million acres of canola and a decrease in wheat acres, but “higher barley numbers.”

PI Financial broker Ken Ball, also from Winnipeg, expects a 500,000-acre increase in canola and a possible increase in wheat acres.

Table: Summary of MarketsFarm’s pre-report expectations, with StatsCan 2020 and April 2021 numbers for comparison, in millions of acres.

.                      . 2020.     . April 2021.  . MF 2021
Barley 7.561 8.613 8.300
Canola 21.181 21.530 22.350
Flax 0.931 0.982 0.980
Peas 4.225 3.839 3.900
Lentils 4.233 4.218 4.300
Oats 3.839 3.608 3.400
All wheat 24.982 23.260 22.800
  Wheat* 19.293 17.555 17.400
  Durum 5.689 5.705 5.400
Corn 3.559 3.623 3.700
Soybeans 5.070 5.348 5.300

*excludes durum

 

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