Oats output in Canada down, export total declines

(Commodity News Service Canada) –– A smaller oats harvest in 2010-11 and the resulting tight supply situation will result in a reduction in Canada’s export and domestic usage picture.

Exactly how much oats was harvested in Canada during 2010-11 is still up in the air, said Mike Jubinville, an analyst with ProFarmer Canada.  

Statistics Canada was working with an oats crop of 2.321 million tonnes, which may be on the high side given that the oats harvest in Saskatchewan may have been overstated. Canada’s oats output in 2009-10 totalled 2.906 million tonnes, while in 2008-09 oats production was 4.273 million.

Jubinville expects that the Statistics Canada report scheduled for release Dec. 3 should help to define just how much oats there are in Canada.

John Pauch, a coarse grain analyst with the market analysis branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Winnipeg, said based on current data, the production total will result in Canada’s 2010-11 oats export total declining at least 13 per cent from the 2009-10 level as a result.

Canada, he forecast, would export 1.8 million tonnes of oats in 2010-11, compared with 2.078 million in 2009-10. Canadian oat shipments in 2008-10 totalled 2.430 million tonnes.

The majority of Canada’s oats in 2010-11 will be shipped to the U.S., Pauch said.

Jubinville was a little more optimistic about Canada’s oat exports to the U.S., forecasting shipments in 2010-11 to hit 1.975 million tonnes.

However, Jubinville cautioned, while Canada’s exports were currently running ahead of the year-ago pace, the tight supply scenario will eventually slow the movement of oats to the U.S.

Domestic usage of oats in Canada was pegged by Jubinville at one million tons in 2010-11, which would compare with 1.202 million in 2009-10. Pauch was working with a domestic oats usage figure of 1.055 million tonnes.

Ending stocks of oats in Canada in 2010-11 were forecast by Pauch at 650,000 tonnes, while Jubinville was expecting 2010-11 carryover to be a tight 535,000 tonnes. Oats ending stocks in 2009-10 totalled 1.169 million tonnes.

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