Late-summer rains, particularly in Canada’s western prairie provinces, boosted production of most field crops well above expectations, according to Statistics Canada’s Production of Principal Field Crops report released Friday, Dec. 4.
“The report could be viewed as bearish for many grains,” said Cliff Jamieson, a Canadian grain analyst for DTN and the commentator on a post-report MGEX press call.
One exception? Wheat. “The wheat crop didn’t recover in the west like some of the other crops did,” Jamieson said.
Wheat Quality Rises
While soil conditions in Alberta and Saskatchewan improved dramatically in late summer and early fall due rains that began in July, the moisture came too late for the wheat crop. Total year-over-year wheat production in Canada declined 6.2% to 27.6 million metric tons as the average year-over-year yield declined 3.3 bushels to 42.8 bushels per acre.
Even though wheat production was well below 2014 output, total production of wheat came in at the high end of trade expectations that called for 26.1 million to 27.6 million metric tons. The quality of this year’s Canadian wheat crop, however, is very good, with 71% of the crop rated as grade one or two, compared with only 50% last year, Jamieson added.
Canola Exceeds Expectations
Canola production of 17.2 million metric tons came in 1 million tons higher than the highest trade estimate, which ranged between 14.5 million and 16.2 million metric tons. This year’s canola production was 5% larger than last year due mostly to a 2.9-bushel-per-acre increase in the average yield of 38 bushels per acre. The 2015 canola yield is the second highest on record, following 2013’s 40.6 bushels per acre.
“It would appear that the canola crop responded remarkably well to late-season rains. This would be a bearish report for canola,” noted Jamieson. “Canola demand remains solid, both crush and exports are running ahead of last year’s pace.”
Production of corn for grain rose 18% from 2014 levels to 13.6 million metric tons this year, the result of a 10.4% increase in the average yield of 164.7 bushels per acre and a 210,200-acre increase in harvested area to 3.2 million acres.
Soybean production hit another record this year, the seventh in a row. Soybean output rose 3.1% from 2014 to 6.2 million metric tons. Canada’s average 2015 soybean yield of 42.5 bushels per acre is up from 2014’s 40.2 bushels.
Barley, Oat Production Recovers
“Barley production came in above the range of trade estimates. The highest estimate was 7.8 million tons,” Jamieson noted. “Recovery will be viewed as favorable by feed users.”
Year-over-year barley production of 8.2 million metric tons climbed 15.5% on a 10.2-percent increase in harvested area of 5.8 million acres and a 5% rise in the average yield to 65 bushels per acre. Barley production is now near its five-year average but still well below its record set in 1996 of 15.6 million metric tons.
Oat production increased 15.1% from 2014 to 3.4 million metric tons, the result of a 13.7-percent increase in harvested area to 2.6 million acres and a 1.3% rise in the average yield to 85.3 bushels per acre. Oat production surpassed its five-year average to match the 10-year average, but oat production remains well below its all-time high of 9.9 million metric tons logged in 1942.