StatsCan stocks report to confirm size of 2013-14 crop

(Dave Bedard photo)

CNS Canada — The ag industry hopes to confirm the size of the 2013-14 crop when Statistics Canada releases its latest stocks estimates for Canadian crops on Friday. The report will show ending stocks for 2013-14 as of July 31.

Charlie Pearson, a crops market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in Edmonton, said the industry will be watching the report to confirm if the 2013-14 crop was really as big as StatsCan reported.

One crop that could be overestimated in size for 2013-14 is barley. Ending stocks guesses for barley range from 1.7 million to 2.25 million tonnes, which isn’t overly burdensome, and is in line with the 10-year average, said Jerry Klassen of GAP Grains and Produits in Winnipeg.

“I think the trade is looking at this number to confirm their ideas that the crop was actually smaller than expected,” he noted.

Statistics Canada pegged 2013-14 barley production at 10.24 million tonnes, which compares with 2012-13 production of 8.01 million tonnes with a carryout of 983,000 tonnes.

Wheat and canola crops were pegged as being record large in 2013-14, so ending stocks for the year are expected to increase as well.

Pre-report guesses call for canola supplies to be at 2.3 million to 3.85 million tonnes, up from just 588,000 in 2012-13. Ending stocks of wheat were guessed at 10.5 million to 12.3 million tonnes, up from 5.06 million the year prior.

The numbers could be especially important for those two crops because of the delayed harvest this year, Klassen added.

The report “will provide an idea of how fluid the system is for the first three months of the 2014-15 crop year because of the delayed harvest,” he said.

But overall supplies for 2014-15 won’t likely be much different than 2013-14 because of the smaller production expected in this year, Pearson said.

“At the end of the 2012-13 crop year, we didn’t have very much inventory but we added in a big crop” in 2013-14, Pearson said. “The difference this year is we’re going to have substantially bigger farm carry-in than we had a year ago, but it’ll be a smaller crop as well.”

Carryout stocks figures for canola could come in above expectations, which would pressure the futures and cash markets for the commodity.

But any effect on markets will likely be short-lived, Pearson said, adding that the focus will be on 2014-15 crop prospects and harvest progress.

Traders will also be watching to see if farmers have been actively selling or not due to recent pressure on the canola futures, Klassen added.

Overall, Pearson doesn’t expect to see any big surprises in Friday’s report.

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

Table: Pre-report estimates for the Sept. 5, 2014 Statistics Canada stocks report on Canadian crop stocks as of July 31, 2014. Figures in millions of metric tonnesCorrection: A previous version of the table below incorrectly pegged the range of pre-report estimates for flax stocks at 500,000 to 1.25 million tonnes. 

Pre-report Total stocks Total stocks
estimates July 31, 2013 July 31, 2012
All wheat 10.50 – 12.30 5.052 5.932
   Durum 1.60 – 2.00 1.152 1.486
Canola 2.30 – 3.85 0.588 0.707
Barley 1.70 – 2.25 0.983 1.195
Flax 0.05 – 0.13 0.071 0.137
Oats 1.00 – 1.40 0.506 0.810

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