Trade expecting bigger canola, wheat numbers from StatsCan

Reuters — Canadian farmers harvested the biggest canola crop on record, slightly larger than was expected in September, a Reuters survey of 15 traders and analysts showed ahead of a key government report.

Wheat production is also seen higher than earlier expectations, as favourable weather produced big yields.

Statistics Canada will release its final crop production estimates of 2017 on Wednesday (Dec. 6), based on a farmer survey.

Canola production reached 20.2 million tonnes, according to the survey’s average estimate, up 2.5 per cent from StatsCan’s September report and rising three per cent from last year’s output.

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StatsCan’s previous report, on Sept. 19, was based on satellite and climate data.

Earlier trade ideas of even-bigger canola production have diminished, meaning demand could strain supplies by summer, ahead of the next harvest, said Ken Ball, a commodities broker at PI Financial Corp.

“There is a lot of uncertainty on this (report) because we had a very late harvest. This one could have some surprises in it,” Ball said.

Canada is the world’s biggest canola producer and exporter, and a major wheat seller.

Production of all-wheat — which includes spring wheat, durum and a small volume of winter wheat — looks to total 28 million tonnes, according to the average estimate. That output would be up three per cent from StatsCan’s September report, but down 12 per cent from a year ago.

— Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg.

Table: Trade estimates for Statistics Canada’s report on 2017 crop production, in millions of tonnes.

AverageLowestHighestStatsCan, StatsCan,
estimate.   .estimate.   .estimate.  .9/19/2017.   .2016
All wheat.   .28.026.829.527.129831.7286

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