On Tuesday, Aug. 23, we got Statistics Canada summer update when it comes to crop production and, as generally expected, things were bearish. The biggest surprise came in the form of the canola estimate of only 17 million tonnes in production, which would be a 1.2 per cent drop from last year but still 5 per cent above the 5-year average. In the past 7 years though, StatsCan has underestimated their August canola production number versus the final they give out in December so most of the trade doesn’t believe this 17 million number to be accurate. Regionally, Manitoba is expected to see its canola production drop about 8 per cent from last year to 2.6 million tonnes (but still up 7 per cent from the 5-year average), with Alberta at 5.4 million (-1 per cent from 2015, -3.4 per cent from 5-year average), and Saskatchewan taking off 8.9 million tonnes (+1 per cent year-over-year, +10 per cent from 5-year average). As mentioned though, everyone is asking if this is all the canola there is.
For wheat, total Canadian production is seen up 10.5 per cent from 2015 with 2.9 million more tonnes produced for a total number of 30.5 million tonnes. This is mainly thanks to a massive jump in winter wheat production (+53 per cent YoY or +1.2 million tonnes from 2015, with Ontario owning 1.1 million of that) and an even more impressive 1.4 million tonne increase in durum production to 6.8 million tonnes (+26 per cent YoY, +24 per cent from 5-year average). Looking at some of the other numbers, total Canadian flax production is pegged at 576,000 MT (-39 per cent YoY, -19 per cent from 5-year average), the Canadian oats crop is estimated at 3.26 million tonnes (-12 per cent, -8 per cent), total soybean production in the Great White North is estimated at 5.44 million tonnes (-6.5 per cent YoY but 6.7 per cent from the 5-year average) and corn output is expected to come in at 12.7 million tonnes (-9 per cent, -3 per cent) because of the drier weather in Ontario. Canadian barley production is estimated to come in at large 8.7 million tonnes, up 6 per cent from 2015 (and 4.7 per cent from the 5-year average), mainly thanks to Alberta and Saskatchewan producing about 500,000 MT more than they did last year.
We’ve been bearish on mustard, field peas, and rye for the past 7 weeks or so as, after the acreage report at the end of June, we were expecting some big production increases. That was realized with StatsCan’s estimates as they’re expecting 250,000 MT of mustard, 4.6 million tonnes of peas, and 382,000 MT of rye, which, year-over-year, would be 44 per cent, 103 per cent, and 69 per cent increases respectively. Lentils continue to be a question mark on the quality front, and we have seen some decent low-to-mid 30s (per lbs) getting traded on FarmLead, but with a 3.2 million-tonne crop coming off, that’s a 36 per cent increase from last year and 40 per cent above the 5-year average). Overall, despite some inclement weather, grain production in Canada will again be higher in 2016, and with global production also relatively high but demand relatively unchanged, we’ll be forced to ask buyers is if this is all they can bid (and unfortunately, the answer will likely be yes).
President and CEO | FarmLead.com
Brennan Turner is originally from Foam Lake, SK, where his family started farming the land in the 1920s. After completing his degree in economics from Yale University and then playing some pro hockey, Mr. Turner spent some time working in finance before starting FarmLead.com, a risk-free, transparent online and mobile grain marketplace (app available) that has moved almost 300,000 MT in the last 2.5 years. His weekly column is a summary of his free, daily market note, the FarmLead Breakfast Brief. He can be reached via email (email@example.com) or phone (1-855-332-7653).