StatsCan report confirms tightening canola, wheat supplies

(Dave Bedard photo)

CNS Canada — Canadian canola and wheat supplies are much tighter heading into the final months of the 2015-16 crop year than they were at the same point a year ago, according to Statistics Canada’s latest stocks report.

StatsCan pegged the country’s canola stocks, as of March 31, at 7.49 million tonnes in its report released Friday. That compares with 8.33 million at the same point the previous year.

The tighter supplies were in line with trade guesses, although most industry participants were anticipating an even smaller number.

“Usage is strong, and there’s no obvious reason why it won’t continue to be strong,” said canola broker Ken Ball of PI Financial.

Solid demand and a tightening supply situation, together with uncertain weather conditions facing the 2016-17 crop, will keep commercial buying interest in the market going forward, he said.

Analyst Wayne Palmer of Agri-Trend Marketing said actual canola stocks were likely much tighter than what StatsCan is reporting, given the anecdotal reports coming from farmers.

StatsCan pegged Canadian wheat stocks (including durum), as of March 31, at 13.79 million tonnes, which would be well below the 18.09 million in the country at the same point the previous year and the tightest stocks at that date since 2008.

Canadian wheat exports have been strong this year, and the wheat stocks were in line with trade expectations.

Barley was one of the few crops that saw supplies rise on the year, with stocks as of March 31 coming in at 3.81 million tonnes. That was up by 400,000 tonnes from the same point the previous year, and above average trade guesses.

“There’s more barley out there than we really need,” said Palmer.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada on Twitter at @CNSCanada.

Table: A recap of Statistics Canada’s stocks report for the period ended March 31, 2016. Figures in millions of tonnes.

Total stocks, Total stocks,
  March 31, 2016      March 31, 2015
All wheat 13.792 18.091
— Durum 2.571 2.658
Canola 7.491 8.328
Barley 3.813 3.402
Flaxseed 0.571 0.382
Oats 1.828 1.673
Peas 1.243 1.728

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