Durum acres to decline in 2017

CNS Canada –– Canadian farmers are sitting on large stocks of poor-quality durum, which should cut into acres seeded to the crop this spring.

Durum stocks in the country, as of Dec. 31, 2016, came in at 6.9 million tonnes, marking a new record for that date, according to Statistics Canada data going back to 1980.

“It has no home; there’s no export market for it,” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada on the country’s large disease-ridden durum stocks.

With no offshore demand for the feed-quality durum, he said, the large supplies will be metered out through domestic feed channels over a lengthy period.

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Canadian durum exports to date of 2.02 million tonnes compare with the 2.33 million exported during the same period in 2015-16, according to Canadian Grain Commission data.

“Farmers will be carrying a lot of durum into the new crop year, and most of it will be low quality,” said Jerry Klassen, manager of Canadian operations with GAP SA Grains and Products in Winnipeg.

Durum acres, he added, “are going to be down by about 30 per cent.”

A 30 per cent drop from the 6.19 million durum acres seeded in 2016 would see an acreage base of 4.33 million. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada currently forecasts a more modest decline, pegging 2017 durum area at 5.26 million acres.

— 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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Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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