Trade’s crop estimates vary ahead of StatsCan report

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.

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“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.

estimates.                 .2019-20,2018-19
(September).    .(final)
Canola18.800 – 20.32319.98720.342
All wheat32.116 – 35.50032.49132.201
Spring wheat.   .25.419 – 26.60025.75223.500
Durum4.956 – 5.3404.9985.744
Barley9.500 – 10.8869.9878.379
Flaxseed0.504 – 0.5800.5770.492
Oats3.900 – 4.6604.0163.436
Lentils2.143 – 2.4772.5202.092
Peas4.252 – 4.6484.6723.580



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