Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

StatsCan: Less canola and durum, more barley and oats

Agency's acreage estimates meet trade expectations

government of canada
(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Canadian farmers seeded fewer canola and durum acres than they originally intended, but more barley and oats, according to updated acreage estimates from Statistics Canada that largely came within expectations.

StatsCan pegged planted Canadian canola area for 2019-20 (August to July) at 20.952 million acres, down by about 300,000 from the March survey and well below the 22.813 million seeded the previous year.

The reduction in canola area “was not super surprising, given how dry it was and some of the lower prices as guys were making seeding decisions,” said market analyst Jonathon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions.

“Acres are always an important issue in determining production, but yield is always the bigger factor,” said Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro, noting attention in the canola market will be focused on weather and trade with China.

For the grains, both analysts felt durum area was a little tighter than average trade guesses, while barley and oats came in at the higher end of expectations.

Total wheat area in the country was pegged at 24.595 million acres, down by roughly one million acres from the March estimate but still above the 24.735 million seeded the previous year.

Of the wheat total, durum area was estimated at 4.894 million, down from the March estimate and well below the 6.185 million in 2018-19. Non-durum spring wheat, at 18.772 million acres, would be up from the 17.31 million planted the previous year.

“Durum has a longer-term optimistic view, from a pricing point of view,” said Jubinville.

“Durum is one of the first crops that goes in the ground, and it’s probably had some irreversible yield damage.”

Jubinville pointed out the prime durum growing area is located right in the heart of the drought area of Saskatchewan, with recent rains likely coming too late for the crop.

StatsCan pegged barley acres at 7.402 million, which would be up by 3.5 per cent from the earlier estimate and roughly one million acres above the 2018-19 level. Driedger said the larger barley area wasn’t surprising, given the solid market at seeding time.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

Table: A recap of Statistics Canada’s acreage estimates as of June 11, 2019, in millions of acres. Pre-report expectations are provided for comparison purposes.

Pre-report 2019-20,   . 2019-20,   . 2018-19,   . Five-year
estimates June March final average
Canola 19.800 – 21.350 20.952 21.314 22.813 21.659
All wheat    * 25.000 – 26.000.   . 24.595 25.674 24.735 23.960
Durum 4.200 – 5.900 4.894 5.021 6.185 5.612
Barley 7.000 – 7.500 7.402 7.155 6.493 6.316
Flaxseed 0.990 – 1.250 0.937 1.000 0.857 1.209
Oats 3.100 – 3.400 3.606 3.291 3.053 3.111
Lentils 3.200 – 3.600 3.780 3.405 3.768 4.179

* “All wheat” = spring wheat, durum wheat, winter wheat remaining after winterkill

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