CANADIAN CORN AND WHEAT STOCKS LOWER; SOYBEANS AND CANOLA HIGHER

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From Statistics Canada


On March 31, 2019, stocks of Canadian wheat, barley, corn for grain, oats, dry peas and lentils were down compared with the same date in 2018. Conversely, stocks of canola and soybeans were up year over year. Lower stocks were generally a result of lower on-farm stocks.

Corn for grain

Stocks of corn for grain were down 5.2% compared with the same date one year earlier, to 8.3 million tonnes. The decrease in total corn stocks was led by on-farm stocks which fell 11.9% to 5.9 million tonnes, offsetting an increase in commercial stocks (+16.2%, to 2.4 million tonnes).

Soybeans

Despite a year-over-year increase in exports, record high beginning stocks for the crop year—coupled with higher imports compared with the same date one year earlier—drove soybean stocks higher on March 31. Nationally, total stocks of soybeans were at 2.9 million tonnes on March 31, 4.3% higher than the same date one year earlier.

Commercial stocks were responsible for the increase in total soybean stocks, rising 11.8% to 1.2 million tonnes. In contrast, on-farm stocks were down 0.5% to 1.7 million tonnes.

Wheat

Total wheat stocks decreased 4.3% from the same day a year earlier to 15.7 million tonnes on March 31. The decrease was led by on-farm stocks, which fell 10.3% year over year to 11.4 million tonnes. In contrast, commercial stocks of wheat were up 16.4% to 4.3 million tonnes.

At the national level, exports of wheat increased 9.1% from the previous year to 15.7 million tonnes on March 31, the highest level on record for this period. Higher exports were likely driven by strong global demand coupled with lower competition from other major wheat-producing countries.

Farm-level stocks in Saskatchewan accounted for the greatest proportion of the year-over-year decrease, falling 15.8% to 4.9 million tonnes. Alberta reported slightly higher on-farm stocks, rising 0.4% to 4.5 million tonnes.

Canola

Canola stocks increased 10.5% year over year, rising to 10 million tonnes on March 31. The increase was led by on-farm stocks which increased by 16.5% compared with the previous year to 8.8 million tonnes, while commercial stocks fell 20% to 1.2 million tonnes. 

Higher stocks on March 31 were a result of fewer deliveries and lower exports in the first quarter of the calendar year. Deliveries continued to be slowed by lower producer prices, which fell from above $500 during the same time in 2018 to under $460 in 2019, and reduced export demand, which in turn was pressured in part by high global oilseed stocks.

Barley and Oats

Total barley stocks decreased from the same date in 2018, falling 26.6% to 2.5 million tonnes on March 31, a record low for this period. On-farm stocks fell 28.4% to 2.2 million tonnes, while commercial stocks decreased 10% to 306,000 tonnes.

Lower year-over-year inventories of barley combined with higher exports to decrease stocks. Low global stocks, strong world prices for feed barley, and low world supplies of malting barley likely drove exports higher (+10.3%) compared with March 31, 2018.

Oat stocks were lower on March 31, declining 33.4% to 1.4 million tonnes from the same date one year earlier. While commercial stocks increased by 14.4%, on-farm stocks fell 38.6% to 1.2 million tonnes.

Dry peas and lentils

At the national level, stocks of dry peas fell to 1.7 million tonnes on March 31, 2019, down 25.7% compared with the same date one year earlier. While commercial stocks were up 11.5% to 388,700 tonnes, on-farm stocks offset this increase, falling 32.5% to 1.3 million tonnes.

Total stocks of lentils decreased by 15.4% to 1.4 million tonnes compared to the same date one year earlier. The decrease was a result of lower on-farm (-15.6%) and commercial (-14.5%) stocks.

Dry pea exports rose to 2.1 million tonnes from 1.8 million tonnes one year earlier. Despite ongoing tariffs on pea exports to India, exports to other countries such as China and Bangladesh have contributed to the growth in exports.

Similarly, exports of lentils grew 41.8% compared with the same date one year earlier to 1.4 million tonnes, despite ongoing tariffs. 

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