StatsCan expected to confirm tight grain/oilseed stocks

Ending stocks of Canada’s major grains and oilseeds were generally thought to be tight at the close of the 2010-11 crop year, but market participants are waiting on Statistics Canada’s Sept. 7 stocks in all positions report to find out the extent of that tightness.

“Many of the (grains and oilseeds) were quite tight coming into the new crop year,” said Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions at Grunthal, Man., “and traders will be looking for some confirmation of that with the report.”

However, Driedger added, unless the StatsCan numbers are considerably out of line with industry projections, attention will quickly turn away from the carryover and to this year’s harvest and production.

Canola could be one interesting crop to watch, as there has been some speculation in the market that StatsCan underestimated the size of the crop in previous reports, according to some analysts.

Estimates on canola stocks as of July 31 range from 700,000 tonnes to 1.3 million, which would compare with the 2.1 million-tonne carryover the previous year.

Given the tightness of the supply situation, even if production in the current year tops the already-record 13.2 million tonnes currently projected by StatsCan, the supply/demand balance will remain tight into the next year, said Ron Frost of Frost Forecast Consulting in Calgary. “The stocks-to-use ratio will remain below 10 per cent” on canola, he said.

Market expectations for all-wheat stocks, as of July 31, range from 5.5 million to 6.8 million tonnes, which compares with 7.8 million at the same time in 2010.

For feed grains, such as barley and oats, the stocks number will help provide a clearer picture of livestock feeding ahead of the report.

Barley stocks estimates range from about one million to 1.5 million, which compares with 2.5 million in 2010. For oats, the estimates range from 400,000 to as much as one million tonnes.

The following are preliminary estimates for some of the crops that will be included in the Statistics Canada grain and oilseed stocks in all positions report scheduled for release on Sept. 7. Figures are in millions of tonnes.

  Total stocks Total stocks
  July 31, 2011 July 31, 2010
  estimate Actual
All wheat 5.500-6.800 7.829
   Durum 1.000-1.600 2.708
Canola 0.700-1.300 2.123
Barley 1.000-1.500 2.583
Flaxseed 0.130-0.250 0.289
Oats 0.400-1.000 1.170

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