StatsCan canola stocks in line with expectations

(Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

CNS Canada –– Canadian canola stocks may be tighter than a year ago and wheat stocks larger — but the updated numbers from Statistics Canada may also need more asterisks than normal.

StatsCan, in a report released Friday, pegged Canadian canola supplies as of Dec. 31 at 12.159 million tonnes, down from 13.452 million at the same point the previous year but in line with market expectations.

“For the canola market, it’s rather neutral,” said Jerry Klassen, manager of Canadian operations with Swiss-based GAP SA Grains and Products in Winnipeg, on the stocks number.

The supplies were largely seen as a confirmation of industry ideas on production and usage, he said.

However, “there’s an element of skepticism about this report,” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada.

The lateness of the harvest and the fact that some fields were left to overwinter meant there are still questions over the size of the 2016-17 crop. While the stocks report is supposed to account for grain left in the field, Jubinville expected crop sizes may be underestimated.

All wheat stocks, at 25.031 million tonnes, were well above the 21.431 million on hand at the same point the previous year.

Durum accounted for most the difference, with stocks of 6.901 million tonnes well above the 4.231 million a year ago.

Jubinville noted much of the extra durum was of poor quality.

Klassen said the feed usage numbers in the non-durum wheat data were about the same as the previous year, which suggests the crop quality may not have been as bad as anticipated.

Meanwhile, durum feed usage was up by 200,000 tonnes from the previous year, confirming the larger but poorer-quality crop, said Klassen.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow him at @philfw on Twitter.

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