Statistics Canada updated its National supply and disposition of major grains 2018-19 report on Oct. 4, with updates including the Aug. 31 stocks of corn and soybeans, the last two pieces of missing data for the 2018-19 crop year.
Statistics Canada estimated corn stocks at 1.983 million metric tons, down for a second straight year as seen in the blue bars on the attached chart. This is the first time stocks have been reported below 2 mmt in four years, following a record 2.497 mmt reported for the 2016-17 crop year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) increased its estimated 2018-19 carryout by 200,000 mt in September to 2.3 mmt, leaving Statistics Canada's reported volume below expectations. This was also the largest year-over-year drop reported in eight years.
Statistics Canada reports 1.080 mmt of on-farm stocks, down 31% over the past year, while commercial stocks rose 5.6% to 903,400 metric tons. Ending stocks as a percentage of use is calculated at 11.6%, the lowest calculated in four years.
When AAFC's September supply and demand tables are compared to Statistics Canada's tables released on Oct. 4, major shifts are seen on both the supply and demand side. Statistics Canada's imports are 200,000 mt higher at 2.8 mmt, approximately 1.1 mmt higher than the previous crop year. Statistics Canada's export figure is roughly 400,000 mt lower than reported by AAFC, while their feed, waste and dockage is 414,000 mt higher and food and industrial use is 486,000 mt higher.
Adjusting AAFC's supply and demand estimates with today's lower stocks estimate, 2019-20 crop year supplies could be over 1 million metric tons lower than 2018-19 and stocks could be destined to fall for a third consecutive year to a level below the previous five-year average. Of course, harvest is pending and bears watching.
Statistics Canada estimated Canada's soybean stocks at a record 700,000 mt on Aug. 31, up from 651,000 mt a year earlier and just slightly higher than the estimate utilized by AAFC in its September supply and demand tables. Today's data release shows farm stocks falling by 33.6% to 95,300 mt year-over-year, while commercial stocks were reported to rise by 19% to 604,500 mt. Despite the jump in stocks, the stocks/use ratio for 2018-19 is calculated at a bullish 8.2%, unchanged from the previous crop year.
Final estimates for 2018-19 show significant imports of 1.1 mmt, up 181% from the five-year average volume of imports.
Current AAFC estimates for 2019-20 soybeans points to production forecast to fall due to lower seeded acres and yield, imports to fall to more traditional volumes and both export and domestic demand to fall slightly. Ending stocks for 2019-20 are estimated at roughly 450,000 mt, which would be below the five-year average, while actual harvest data remains pending. The largest wildcard for soybeans remains the potential for a return of Chinese business, with little more than a trickle flowing to this country each month in the 2019 calendar year.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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