Upward revisions expected for StatsCan’s crop estimates

Yield reports coming in from across Western Canada point to considerably larger grain and oilseed production than originally expected — but just how big canola, wheat and other crops are remains to be seen.

Statistics Canada releases its latest crop survey results on Friday (Oct. 4).

StatsCan conducted its survey at the beginning of September, when farmers were in the early stages of harvesting this year’s crops.

“Some harvest had begun when this report was taken, and growers were becoming more and more aware of how good their yields were… but it will get even bigger in the December report,” said Ken Ball of PI Financial.

“The October report will still be somewhat conservative on the estimates,” said Jerry Klassen of GAP S.A. Grains and Produits in Winnipeg. Farmers had harvested about 20 per cent of their crops when this survey was conducted, he said.

“We expect to see some pretty big crops,” said Jon Driedger, a market analyst with FarmLink Marketing, though he said he also wouldn’t be surprised to see upward revisions in the next report.

Estimates on the size of the canola crop range from about 14.8 million to 17.5 million tonnes, which would compare with the already record 14.7 million-tonne estimate in August and the 13.9 million-tonne crop grown in 2012.

All-wheat production is estimated at anywhere from 30.7 million to 34.5 million tonnes, which would represent the largest crop in over 20 years and come in well above the 27.2 million tonnes grown the previous year.

Of that wheat total, durum production is forecast at about 5.2 million to 6.2 million tonnes, which compares with an earlier estimate of 5.1 million and the year-ago level of 4.6 million.

Estimates on the size of the Canadian barley crop are also up from the previous report, averaging about 9.3 million tonnes. That would compare with the earlier StatsCan forecast of 8.8 million and the 2012 level of eight million.

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

Table: A quick summary of current pre-report trade estimates of 2013-14 production, in millions of tonnes.

    StatsCan  
  Pre-report August Actual
  ideas 2013-14 2012-13
Canola 14.800 – 17.500 14.737 13.869
Durum 5.200 – 6.200 5.117 4.627
All wheat 30.700 – 34.500 30.562 27.205
Oats 2.800 – 3.400 2.907 2.812
Barley 8.500 – 9.800 8.807 8.012
Flax 0.600 – 0.650 0.615 0.489

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