Record StatsCan canola estimate likely larger still

Canadian canola production will likely end up even larger in 2013-14 than the already record-high estimate from Statistics Canada in its first survey results of the year, according to industry participants.

StatsCan on Wednesday pegged canola production in 2013-14 at a record 14.7 million tonnes, which would compare with 13.3 million tonnes the previous year. However, average trade guesses had been for an even larger crop with most market participants anticipating 15 million tonnes or more.

“Everyone always watches canola the closest, and it came in at the low end of trade expectations,” said Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions.

“There is no question that we’ll see a bigger number before all is said and done,” he added, noting the StatsCan survey was completed at the end of July and conditions have improved since then.

“The trade mindset is that the real number is considerably larger than (the StatsCan estimate),” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada. The 13.3 million-tonne production estimate StatsCan is still using for 2012-13 production was also understated, as usage numbers imply a larger crop. He expected to see some revisions in future reports.

While canola production was a little smaller than most expectations, all-wheat production, at 30.6 million tonnes, topped trade guesses and would be the largest Canadian wheat crop since 1991. Canada grew 27.2 million tonnes of wheat in 2012-13.

“The wheat crops look good,” said Driedger, allowing that actual production was likely higher than earlier guesses.

While the large Canadian wheat crop should be slightly bearish for prices, those in the trade have a big wheat number from Canada already factored into their equations, said Jubinville.

Of the wheat total, the durum number was large as well, at 5.1 million tonnes. That’s up from 4.6 million the previous year. Jubinville said the big durum crop suggests the premium durum typically holds over other spring wheat may erode this year.

Canadian oats production was forecast at 2.9 million tonnes by StatsCan, up from the 2.7 million tonnes grown the previous year but below average trade guesses.

Barley, at 8.8 million tonnes, was up from eight million in 2012-13 and in line with trade expectations. “The cereals in general look really good,” said Driedger.

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

Table: Summary of Statistics Canada crop production estimates for 2013-14 as of July 2013. Pre-report estimates are included for comparison. Production in millions of metric tonnes. Source: Statistics Canada.

  2013-14 ideas 2012-13
Durum 5.117 4.600 – 5.300 4.627
All wheat 30.562 29.000 – 30.300 27.205
Oats 2.907 3.100 – 3.400 2.684
Barley 8.807 8.200 – 9.000 8.012
Flaxseed 0.615 0.550 – 0.650 0.489
Canola 14.734 14.200 – 16.000 13.310

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