Canada Markets

Statistics Canada Points to a Sharp Drop in Farm Stocks

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart shows the year-over-year change in forecast grain stocks as of Dec. 31 (blue bars) as compared to March 31 (brown bars). The year-over-year drop in stocks is seen increasing for wheat, canola and oats, while stocks of corn are shown to increase by a greater amount and soybean stocks moved from a forecast 6.4% decline year-over-year to a 0.1% increase. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Statistics Canada summarized Friday's report by stating that Canada's stocks of corn and soybeans rose year over year as of March 31, while stocks of all other principal field crops are set to decline, highlighting the challenges faced over the balance of the crop year. As seen on the attached chart, the year-over-year percentage drop has been ratcheted higher for crops such as wheat, canola and oats since the Dec. 31 stocks were reported in February, while the percent increase in corn stocks has been revised higher.

Canada's all-wheat stocks were reported at 10.103 million metric tons (mmt), down 38.7% from a year ago and 42% below the five-year average. This represents the tightest March 31 stocks seen since March 31, 1989. While elevator stocks are reported to be 9.2% higher than the same date in 2021, estimated farm stocks have plunged by 52.8%.

Statistics Canada has estimated disappearance in feed markets at 4.9017 mmt as of March 31, up 25% from a year ago and a faster pace of demand than expected. AAFC's April forecast for all-wheat disappearance in feed channels is at 4.080 mmt for the entire crop year. While durum usage in feed markets is estimated to fall by 247,700 mt year over year, wheat disappearance in the feed, waste and dockage column has increased by 1.2 mmt.

Wheat stocks excluding durum were reported at 8.636 mmt, down 36.5% from last year and 37.7% below the five-year average. This is the lowest stocks reported since March 2003. This volume represents 36% of estimated 2021-22 supplies, which are sharply lower than the previous year, with 33% of the crop year remaining. The five-year average for this date shows 44% of crop year supplies remaining on March 31. Of this volume, 37% is reported on farm while the balance is in commercial storage.

Durum stocks as of March 31 are pegged at 1.467 mmt, down 49.1% from one year ago while down 58.8% below the five-year average. Of this volume, 610,000 metric tons (mt) or 41.6% remains on farm, a volume that has plunged by 71% over the past year. This is the lowest volume reported since March 1986.

Canada's canola stocks were estimated at 3.940 mmt, down 49.3% from a year ago and 58% below the five-year average, the tightest stocks seen since March 2005. This represents only 27.4% of estimates supplies for 2021-22, which are estimated 37.5% lower than 2020-21. Of this volume, 56% is found on farm at 2.201 mmt, a volume that has fallen 63% over the past year. Estimated stocks are only slightly lower than the volume required to achieve AAFC's current demand forecast while ending the year at extremely tight stocks of 400,000 mt.

Stocks of barley at 1.646 mmt are down 43.7% from one year ago and 51% below the five-year average, likely the lowest on record. Both farm stocks (-43%) and commercial stocks (-46%) are down from last year, with 81% of the estimated volume reported on farm. Feed usage is estimated at 3.8 mmt, down 1.9 mmt from the previous crop year, in line with the current AAFC forecast for the crop year, while exports have fallen 755,300 mt from the previous crop year.

Oat stocks are reported at 947,000 mt, down 48.6% from one year ago and 48% below the five-year average. This is likely the lowest March 31 stocks on record, with 68% of this volume on farm, a volume that has also fallen by 57% year over year.

Stocks of peas fell by 34.9% over the past year to 1.224 mmt, the lowest stocks seen in 10 years. Stocks of lentils fell by 35% over the past year to 949,000 mt, or the lowest in six years.

Stocks of soybeans are reported at 2.014 mmt, up 0.1% from a year ago and 21.7% below the five-year average for this date, with 55% of this volume estimated in farm storage. The December stocks report showed a year-over-year decline in stocks of 6.4%, while as of March 31 were up 0.1% from a year ago. The pace of exports is seen slowing relative to last crop year, with exports as of Dec. 31 down 5.4% from one year ago while this has slowed to 7% behind last year as of March 31.

Corn stocks as of March 31 are seen at 9.282 mmt, up 13.9% from last year while 11.6% higher than the five-year average. Approximately 57% of this volume is found on farm, down from 65% of a lower overall volume of stocks held on farm this time last year. This report was viewed as bearish for corn overall.

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