Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Trade’s crop estimates vary ahead of StatsCan report

(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Barley and canola production expectations vary ahead of Statistics Canada’s production of principal field crops report, due out Friday.

In September, the federal agency estimated Canada’s barley production to total just less than 10 million tonnes, two million higher than the final count for the 2018-19 growing year. However, some trade estimates are notably lower.

“The big question here is how much barley was actually harvested,” commented Jerry Klassen of GAP SA Grains in Winnipeg.

Klassen estimated barley production to be closer to 9.5 million tonnes, given that yields from October’s harvest were noticeably lower than barley that came off the field in September.

“It was lighter weight, a lot of it sprouted,” he said. “A lot of the sprouted barley had very low test weight.”

In some cases, he said, yields were 10 to 15 bushels per acre lower in October compared to September.

Cash barley prices have also rallied by about $30 after hitting harvest lows, which also indicated tightened supplies.

“If you had a 10 million-tonne crop, that market would still be at harvest lows,” he said.

StatsCan’s September estimates for canola production totaled 19.3 million tonnes, but some trade estimates are more cautious.

“The general feeling is those numbers will be down from previous levels,” said Keith Ferley of RBC Dominion Securities in Winnipeg.

Ferley’s estimate for the canola yield came in at 18.8 million tonnes.

“We’ve obviously had some big trouble getting the crop off this fall, so you have to be realistic.”

Only 62 per cent of canola in the Peace River region in Alberta came off the fields, which caused some pessimism. “That’s some very high-yielding canola,” said Klassen.

Trade estimates peg spring wheat production at around 26 million tonnes, a figure on par with Statistics Canada’s September estimates.

Similarly, durum estimates are on track with what was approximated earlier in the year. StatsCan’s September estimate was just below five million tonnes, and trade expectations remained in that range as well.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

Table: Pre-report trade guesses, in millions of tonnes.

Pre-report StatsCan, StatsCan,
estimates.                 . 2019-20, 2018-19
(September).    . (final)
Canola 18.800 – 20.323 19.987 20.342
All wheat 32.116 – 35.500 32.491 32.201
Spring wheat.   . 25.419 – 26.600 25.752 23.500
Durum 4.956 – 5.340 4.998 5.744
Barley 9.500 – 10.886 9.987 8.379
Flaxseed 0.504 – 0.580 0.577 0.492
Oats 3.900 – 4.660 4.016 3.436
Lentils 2.143 – 2.477 2.520 2.092
Peas 4.252 – 4.648 4.672 3.580


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