Canada Markets

Statistics Canada Updates Production Estimates

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The blue bars represent Statistics Canada production estimates for selected crops based on July estimates, as measured against the primary vertical axis. The brown bars represent Tuesday's model-based estimates. The black line represents the 2015/16 and 2016/17 average percent change from the September model based estimates to the current final crop year estimates, measured on the percent scale on the secondary vertical axis. (DTN graphic by Scott R Kemper)

Statistics Canada released its latest crop production estimates for the Canadian crop, just 20 days after the release of the crop year's first production estimates. While the Aug. 31 release was based on surveys of 13,300 producers in the July 19-to-Aug. 1 period, Tuesday's release is referred to as a model-based approach. This includes a combination of satellite data from the Crop Condition Assessment Program, acreage data from producer surveys conducted in July along with climate data.

Tuesday's report results in a higher expected production for almost all major Canadian crops than seen in the previous estimate. Production estimates fell for the canary seed crop (minus.6%), flaxseed crop (1.1%) and the mustard crop (11.6%), with the percent change from the July estimates in brackets.

Of the major crops, which are expected to result in higher production than reported in the July estimates released on Aug. 31, spring wheat production is expected to increase 6.3% to 18.889 million tons, while other crops showing gains include lentils (6.4%), soybeans (7.5%), canola (8.3%) and durum (10.3%). The percent change from the previously released July estimates is shown in brackets.

The largest increase seen in any single crop since the July estimates were released is found in the canola data. The canola crop was estimated at 18.2 million metric tons on August 31, while revised 1.5 mmt higher to 19.7 mmt based on the model's findings. It is interesting that the USDA was already leaning to a crop of this size, with the Sept. 12 Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report dropping the agency's Canadian canola production estimate from 20.5 mmt to 19.9 mmt on Sept. 12.

The 2017/18 crop year is the third year that this model-based approach has been utilized. Looking over 2015/16 and 2016/17 data for selected crops, as shown on the attached chart, production estimates for a number of crops are seen moving higher from the initial July estimates released in August, to the model-based estimates released in September and again to the final production estimates, which are released in December and potentially revised later. The black line with markers on the attached chart represents the two-year average (2015/16 and 2016/17) percent change in the move from the September model-based results to the final production estimates. Of the selected crops, estimates grew in size for all. This ranged from an average for 3.9% for spring wheat all the way to an average percent change of 17.4% for canola, which may support the possibility of even larger estimates to come.

Today's data may have had little impact on commercial trade this session. Despite a larger spring wheat and canola crop reported for Canada on Tuesday, the Dec/March HRS spread remained unchanged although at a bearish 13 3/4 cents, while canola finished higher with the Nov/Jan canola spread strengthening $.10/mt, to minus $6.70/mt.


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