Large crops anticipated in StatsCan survey

Production of Canada’s major grain and oilseed crops in 2013 is generally expected to show an improvement from the previous year, but the extent of the increase for each crop will depend on conditions over the latter half of the growing season.

Statistics Canada releases its first survey-based production estimates of the crop year on Wednesday (Aug. 21). The survey was conducted in late July, when production was still very much up in the air. Given the lateness of this year’s crops, many analysts were of the opinion that it would be hard to put much stock in the StatsCan estimates.

“We’ll watch this report for two minutes, but anything they show will be instantly discounted,” said a canola trader who thought actual canola production will end up above the StatsCan estimate given the conditions since the survey was conducted.

“The crops seem to be in good shape at this point,” added one grain company analyst noting that yields have improved on the year.

Darren Frank of FarmLink Marketing Solutions said early yield data was looking good, although early frost could still cause problems. He said recent heat would help in development, with 95 per cent of fields likely past the point of being hurt from a production standpoint if they can make it without a frost by the beginning of September.

Canola production is expected to come in at anywhere from 14.2 million to as much as 16 million tonnes, although average trade guesses come in around 15 million. That would compare with the 13.3 million-tonne crop grown in 2012.

All-wheat production estimates generally range from about 29 to 30.3 million tonnes, which compares with 27.2 million grown in 2012. Of that total, durum production is forecast at 4.6 million to 5.3 million tonnes. Canadian farmers grew 4.6 million tonnes of durum in 2012.

Trade estimates on the size of the barley crop range from 8.2 million to nine million tonnes, which compares with eight million the previous year.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

Table: A quick summary of Statistics Canada’s crop production pre-report estimates. Production in millions of tonnes.

  Pre-report
  ideas 2012-13
Durum wheat 4.600 – 5.300 4.627
All wheat 29.000 – 30.300 27.205
Oats 3.100 – 3.400 2.684
Barley 8.200 – 9.000 8.012
Flaxseed 0.550 – 0.650 0.489
Canola 14.200 – 16.000 13.310

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