StatsCan canola stocks expected to drop from year-ago mark

(Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

CNS Canada –– With Statistics Canada releasing its estimates Wednesday for crop stocks as of Dec. 31, canola supplies are generally expected to fall compared to year-ago levels.

The lower stocks estimates are mainly linked to smaller production in 2014-15, compared to the record large crop grown in 2013-14, analysts say.

“Stocks were pretty high last year, so they will be a little lower,” Ken Ball of PI Financial said. “Canola consumption is still solid, the crushers have really ramped things up. The exports have tapered off a bit, but they’re still pretty good.”

Usage through the first five months the crop year will help provide some insight into where carryout stocks will end up.

Ending stocks figures for the 2014-15 canola crop have a pretty wide range between 1.3 million and two million tonnes, as how much will be exported is still unclear, Ball said.

It’s possible the stocks report shows a surprising number, causing a move in the ICE Futures Canada market — but it’s unlikely, as demand is still king for moving prices since the size of the crop is already known, said Errol Anderson of ProMarket Communications in Calgary.

Traders will be watching the numbers closely for a couple of other crops such as barley, said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada.

The export pace for barley is outpacing last year’s so far, according to Canadian Grain Commission data. Barley exports totaled 738,000 tonnes as of Jan. 25, up from 500,200 tonnes the year prior.

It will also be interesting to watch the stocks figures for pulses to see how fast we are chewing through supplies, Jubinville said. Red lentils will be watched closely, as they’ve been moving quite quickly, he added.

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

Table: Pre-report estimates for the Feb. 4, 2015 Statistics Canada stocks report estimating Canadian crop stocks as of Dec. 31, 2014. Figures in millions of metric tonnes.

Pre-report Total stocks Total stocks
  estimates at Dec. 31, 2013…. at Dec. 31, 2012
All wheat…. 24.728 – 28.358… 28.680 20.710
— Durum 4.126 – 4.200 5.239 3.931
Canola 9.633 – 11.242 12.421 8.075
Barley 4.106 – 4.785 6.750 5.265
Flaxseed 0.553 – 0.600 0.490 0.412
Oats 1.925 – 2.534 2.848 2.056

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