Canada Markets

Statistics Canada August Crop Production Estimates

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart forecasts 2021-22 exports of select grains based on current AAFC estimates combined with Statistics Canada's most recent reports. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Statistics Canada's August model showed further deterioration across the Prairie provinces over the month of August in their latest production estimates based on the August models, while conditions improved in the east.

Production of all principal field crops was revised lower to 69.843 million metric tons (mmt), down almost 30 mmt or 30% from the previous crop year at 99.736 mmt. Looking back at historical production data, this is the largest year-over-year percentage drop seen since 1961, when production dropped 38.2% year-over-year.

It should be noted that the estimates for small crops such as dry beans, canary seed and sunflower seed have not been included in the current model, nor have small producing provinces been included, which are estimated to produce from 2% to 4% of national production. Estimates not included will be included in the final estimates released in December.

Canada's all-wheat production was revised from 22.948 mmt to 21.715 mmt, or the smallest crop since 2007. Total wheat supplies are estimated to fall to 27.420 mmt, ignoring any potential imports, down 32.8% from the 40.8 mmt of estimated supplies in 2020-21.

Spring wheat production was revised 781,000 metric tons (mt) lower to 15.321 mmt, down 40.7% from last crop year and the smallest seen since 2007-08. Winter wheat production was revised 2,000 mt higher from the July model to 2.849 mmt. Total supplies of wheat (excluding durum) are shown at 23.124 mmt, down 10.350 mmt or 31% from 2020-21. Spring wheat yields are estimated at 30.3 bushels per acre (bpa) for Saskatchewan and 35 bpa for Alberta. Saskatchewan Agriculture has estimated yield at 27 bpa (HRS) and other spring wheat classes at 29 bpa. Alberta Agriculture's dryland yield estimate is reported at 30.4 bpa.

Durum production was revised 453,000 mt lower using the August model to 3.545 mmt, down from 6.571 mmt last crop year and the smallest production since 2010-11. Supplies of durum based on recent Statistics Canada estimates are pegged at 4.297 mmt, down 41% or 3 mmt from the previous crop year. Statistics Canada estimated the Saskatchewan yield at 24.4 bpa, which compares to the province's Sept. 6 estimate of 19 bpa and this bears watching.

Canola production was revised almost 2 mmt lower to 12.782 mmt, down 34.4% from 2020-21 and the smallest production seen since 2008-09 or in 13 years. Crop-year supplies are forecast to plunge by 36.8% to 14.549 mmt, down from 23 mmt in 2020-21. Statistics Canada estimated Saskatchewan's yield at 21.2 bpa, close to the provincial estimate of 20 bpa. The Alberta canola yield estimate was reported at 28.7 bpa, only slightly higher than the province's 26.1 bpa estimate.

Barley production was revised lower to 7.141 mmt, down 33.5% from last year and the lowest in seven years. Barley supplies are forecast to fall by 34.5% to 7.852 mmt, down from close to 12 mmt in the previous crop year. This data signals the need for a few million tons of U.S. corn imports into the Prairies over the crop year.

Oat production was revised 491,000 mt lower to 2.579 mmt, down 43.6% from last crop year and the smallest production seen since 2010-11. Available supplies of 3 mmt in 2021-22 are down 35.5% for 2020-21.

Lentil production was revised lower to 1.802 mmt in the current report, down 37% from last crop year and the lowest production realized in nine sessions. Estimated supplies of 2.2 mmt will be down 30.8% from the 3.190 mmt available in 2020-21. Dry pea production is estimated at 2.527 mmt, down 100,000 mt from the July estimate and 45% below the 2020 production and the lowest production in 10 years. Estimated supplies of 3 mmt will be down 38.9% from 2020-21.

Statistics Canada's models observed improving conditions in eastern row crops. The August model added 691,000 mt to the corn estimate with an estimated production of 14.368 mmt, a record-size crop. Ontario is forecast to achieve a record 179.1 bpa yield in 2021, while two private forecasts point to an average Ontario yield of 191.5 bpa and 194.3, which suggest more upside potential to this forecast may lie ahead.

A smaller revision was made to Canada's soybean potential, with an estimated production of 5.886 mmt, down 7.4% from last year and the smallest crop in eight years. Statistics Canada estimated Ontario's soybean yield at 47.7 bpa, which compares to private crop tour results of 53.9 bpa and 51.7 bpa results also released in early September.

The August Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supply and demand estimates showed Canadian grain exports of all principal field crops falling from 59.177 mmt to 36.020 mmt in 2021-22, a drop of 39% year-over-year. Since these estimates were released, Statistics Canada has reported final 2020-21 export statistics, as well as three crop reports, two production reports and a stocks report. The only statistics left outstanding are row crop activity for August and the Aug. 31 stocks for both corn and soybeans.

The attached chart incorporates July 31 stocks estimates for all crops expect corn and soybeans where AAFC estimates are used, Sept. 14 production data, AAFC's forecast for 2021-22 corn and soybean imports and allowances for domestic use to project exports for select crops for 2021-22, with ending stocks at levels forecast by AAFC.

Based on this analysis, barley exports would fall by 58.6% year-over-year to 1.892 mmt, durum exports would fall by 50.3% to 2.870 mmt and canola exports would fall by 44.5% to 5.849 mmt. Wheat (excluding durum) exports would fall by 35.5% to 13.314 mmt. The smallest change would be seen for corn, with exports to fall by 7.8%, while soybean exports would fall by 13.3% to 3.986 mmt.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @Cliff Jamieson

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