Oats stocks Dec. 31 smaller than expected

Oats stocks as of Dec. 31 were quite a bit smaller than the market expected.

Statistics Canada Tuesday released its Dec. 31 grain stocks  stocks report this morning and it was supportive for canola, wheat and oats prices, although only canola and oats were up on futures exchanges this morning.

The oats number was the most notable with StatsCan pegging stocks at 1.87 million tonnes. That was below the lowest of the trade’s pre report forecasts as polled by Reuters.

The trades’ range was two million to 2.6 million tonnes for an average of 2.3 million.

Last year at the same time, oats stocks were 2.33 million tonnes.

The Chicago March oats contract was up 1.5 cents at about noon CST. That was a fairly strong showing because corn was down eight cents or about 1.1 percent.

Canadian all wheat stocks came in at the low end of pre report forecasts and that was considered slightly supportive but Minneapolis wheat was down on pressure from falling corn.

There were 20.69 million tonnes of  wheat in stocks Dec. 31. The trade’s range was 19.8 million to 23.5 million for an average of 21.7 million.

Last year wheat stocks were 20.831 million tonnes.

Durum stocks were 2.83 million tonnes, spot on the average of traders’ expectations.

Canola stocks were 7.37 million tonnes, within the range of traders’ expectations but slightly lower than the average pre report guess of 7.5 million.

Although not much of a surprise, it indicates that StatsCan’s canola production estimate for the 2012 crop is about correct. Some analysts had speculated that the crop was quite a bit larger than the official number. If that had been true, then the stocks number would have been larger.

Barley  stocks Dec. 31 were 5.09, within the range of forecasts but a little less than the average. Last year at the same time there was 5.48 million tonnes.

Flax stocks were 406,000 tonnes, at the low end of the pre report range. Last year at the same time stocks were 430,000 tonnes.

Pea stocks are 1.55 million tonnes, down 8.3 percent from last year at the same time.

Lentil  stocks are 1.23 million tonnes, down 15 percent from last year.

Rye stocks are 172,000 tonnes, up almost 24 percent from last year at  the same time.