Less canola and durum, more barley and oats in Canada

Winnipeg – Canadian farmers seeded fewer canola and durum acres than they originally intended, but more barley and oats, according to updated acreage estimates from Statistics Canada that largely came within expectations.

The planted Canadian canola area for 2019/20 (Aug/July) was pegged at 20.952 million acres by the government agency, which was down by about 300,000 acres from the March survey and well below the 22.813 million seeded the previous year.

The reduction in canola area “was not super surprising, given how dry it was and some of the lower prices as guys were making seeding decisions,” said market analyst Jonathon Driedger, of FarmLink Marketing Solutions.

“Acres are always an important issue in determining production, but yield is always the bigger factor,” added Mike Jubinville, of MarketsFarm Pro noting that attention in the canola market will be focused on weather and trade with China.

For the grains, both analysts felt the durum area was a little tighter than average trade guesses, while barley and oats came in at the higher end of expectations.

Total wheat area in the country was pegged at 24.595 million acres, which was down by roughly one million acres from the March estimate, but still above the 24.735 million seeded the previous year. Of the wheat total, durum area was estimated at 4.894 million, which was down from the March estimate and well below the 6.185 million tonnes in 2018/19. Non-durum spring wheat, at 18.772 million acres, would be up from the 17.310 million planted the previous year.

“Durum has a longer term optimistic view from a pricing point of view,” said Jubinville.

“Durum is one of the first crops that goes in the ground, and it’s probably had some irreversible yield damage,” he added. Jubinville pointed out that the prime durum growing area is located right in the heart of the drought area of Saskatchewan, with recent rains likely coming too late for the crop.

Barley acres were pegged at 7.402 million by Statistics Canada. That would be up by 3.5 per cent from the earlier estimate and roughly one million acres above the 2018/19 level. Driedger said the larger barley area wasn’t surprising, given the solid market at seeding time.

The following table is a recap of Statistics Canada’s acreage report as of June 11, 2019. Pre-report expectations are provided for comparison purposes. Figures are in million acres.

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