Canadian canola area likely above earlier projection

Winnipeg (CNS Canada) – Canadian farmers likely planted more canola in 2018 than initial expectations, but industry participants generally expect to see only minor adjustments when Statistics Canada releases its latest acreage estimates on June 29.

“Our idea is that the canola seeded area number is higher than initially reported,” said Jon Driedger, of FarmLink Marketing Solutions. He said pulse acres will also be watched, with downward revisions from earlier expectations a possibility.

“We’re looking for an increase in canola acres at the expense of some of the specialty crops, like peas and lentils,” said Jerry Klassen, manager of Canadian operations with Swiss-based GAP S.A. Grains and Products in Winnipeg.

Klassen said the previous survey came as a surprise to industry participants. At the time, general expectations had been for an increase in seeded canola area on the year from the record 22.997 million seeded in 2017. However, the survey conducted in late March predicted a downward revision on the year with canola intentions at 21.383 million acres.

Heading into the June report, most industry participants expect actual canola area was at least 500,000 to a million acres above the earlier estimate, with some still predicting a new record.

Barley is another crop that is generally expected to see an increase in planted area from the 6.059 million acres forecast in the spring.

“We had some very good prices for feed barley in April and May, and there was still time for farmers to do some switching,” said Klassen anticipating a possible upward revision to barley area.

However, unless there are major surprises in the report, attention at this time of year will quickly return to summer weather.

“At this stage of the game everyone is focused on yield, and tweaks around the margins for acres probably won’t affect the market a great deal,” said Driedger.

Some areas will need rain soon, said Ken Ball, of PI Financial in Winnipeg, noting that weather concerns may soon start to build up in the canola market.

The United States Department of Agriculture also releases acreage and stocks data on Friday.

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