October 5, 2011


Canada reduces canola forecast, increases wheat prospects



Canadian 2011 canola crop outlook was reduced from the previous forecast whereas the prospect of wheat production increased a little, according to Statistics Canada on Tuesday (Oct 4) in a report that did not reach expectations for larger output.


The government statistical agency estimated Canada's 2011 all-wheat crop at 24.16 million tonnes, up 4% from a year ago. The increase was mainly due to a 30% rise in production of durum wheat to 3.94 million tonnes from 2010, Statscan said.


The trade had expected all-wheat production of 24.4 million tonnes, including four million tonnes of durum, according to a Reuter's survey.


Statscan's unexpected reduction of its canola production estimate to 12.928 million tonnes, a record high from 13.2 million tonnes in its mid-summer survey, helped ICE Canada canola futures pare earlier losses. The trade was expecting, on average, an estimate of 13.8 million tonnes.


Statscan surveyed 14,104 farmers from September 1-9.


"It is an accurate snapshot of what people guessed their yields were in the field by visual estimation," said a commodities broker at Union Securities in Winnipeg. "It is still not an accurate snapshot of what went through the combines."


Mid-summer heat during canola's vulnerable flowering stage had left farmers worried about yields around the time of the survey.


Statscan pegged wheat yields in Western Canada at an average 40.1 bushels per acre, continuing a four-year flat trend.


Canola yields are expected to slip to 31.6 bushels per acre, the lowest in four years.


Excessively wet spring conditions in parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, followed by hot, dry weather, hurt yields in some areas, but other fields thrived in ideal late-summer weather.


Canola production still has upside heading into the final December 6 Statscan report, said an analyst of LeftField Commodity Research. Cooler weather this year in Alberta should produce good canola yields he said, and harvest still has a couple of weeks to go there.


The oat harvest is forecast to climb to 2.887 million tonnes from 2.5 million tonnes in 2010, in line with expectations.


Oat yields are expected to average 77.4 bushels per acre in Western Canada, better than last year.


Statscan estimated barley production at 7.898 million tonnes, down nearly 400,000 tonnes from its midsummer estimate and falling short of expectations for 8.3 million tonnes.

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