More canola and pulses, less wheat expected in Canada

(Dave Bedard photo)

CNS Canada — Canadian farmers likely seeded more canola and pulse acres than originally thought this spring, but less wheat, according to average trade estimates ahead of Statistics Canada’s next official survey results due out June 29.

Poor returns per acre and frustrations over grading issues had some farmers backing away on wheat, said Jerry Klassen, manager of the Canadian office of Swiss-based GAP SA Grains and Products in Winnipeg. Meanwhile, better prospects for canola and lentils likely drew in some more acres to those crops.

Market expectations are for canola area to be up by as much as one million acres from the 19.3 million forecast in the April report, although average expectations are for a more modest increase. That compares with the 20.1 million acres seeded to canola in 2015.

For wheat, average pre-report estimates are for a decline of about 500,000 acres from the previous estimate of 23.8 million acres, with spring wheat accounting for most of the reduction.

Durum area may actually end up a bit higher than the earlier estimate of 6.1 million acres, Klassen said. Canada seeded 24.1 million acres of wheat in 2015, with durum accounting for 5.8 million acres of the total.

Looking at the pulse crops, “there’s a widespread feeling that the lentils will be higher,” added Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg.

Some industry participants are forecasting lentil acres as high as six million, which would compare with the already record-large 5.1 million acres estimated in April and the year-ago level of 3.9 million.

However, “at the end of the day, weather will trump everything when it comes to yield and final production figures,” said Driedger.

— 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.

Table: A recap of pre-report expectations ahead of Statistics Canada’s June 29 report. Figures are in million acres.

Pre-report StatsCan, StatsCan,
estimates April 2016 2015-16
Canola 19.300 – 21.000 19.345 20.095
Wheat* 22.800 – 23.800 23.846 24.111
—Durum 5.900 – 6.300 6.120 5.820
Barley 6.500 – 6.900 6.777 6.527
Flaxseed 1.100 – 1.500 1.115 1.640
Oats 2.400 – 3.000 2.972 3.337
Peas 4.300 – 5.000 4.280 3.680
Lentils 5.200 – 6.000 5.140 3.950

* – Total wheat includes spring wheat, durum and winter wheat remaining after winterkill.

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