Canada Markets

Statistics Canada Releases Dec. 31 Grain Stocks Estimates

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Statistics Canada estimated durum stocks as of Dec. 31 at 2.959 mmt are well-below the 10-year average of 4.6 mmt and the second-lowest year-end stocks reported since Dec. 31, 1988. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Statistics Canada released its Stocks of principal field crops report, December 31, 2023 today, based on its December Farm Survey of 9,600 Canadian grain producers from Dec. 14 through to Jan. 22. The number of producers surveyed is the same as reported one year ago, while the survey period was four days longer.

Canada's all-wheat stocks were estimated at 20.681 million metric tons (mmt), down 10.3% from the previous crop year and down 11.2% from the five-year average.

Stocks of wheat (excluding durum) are seen at 17.722 mmt, down 6.8% from one year ago and 6.6% below the five-year average. The largest drop was seen for farm stocks at 14.325 mmt, down 8.1% from one year ago, while the second-lowest farm stocks reported since December 2007. Despite a smaller wheat crop produced in 2023, Statistics Canada data released on Feb. 7 shows wheat exports (excluding durum) up 11.4% from a year ago as of December, a pace that cannot last.

Durum stocks as of Dec. 31 are reported at 2.959 mmt, down 27% from one year ago and 31.5% below the five-year average. As seen on the attached chart, stocks of durum as of December 2021 and December 2023 are the first and second lowest volumes reported since 1988, or over the past 35 years. Farm stocks of durum reported at 2.349 mmt are down 28.6% from one year ago, while the second-lowest volume reported in 16 years. As of December, Statistics Canada reports exports of 1.280 mmt, down 33.4% from a year ago, while AAFC is forecasting exports to fall by 36.7% year-over-year.

Statistics Canada estimated Dec. 31 canola stocks at 12.851 mmt, up 1.3% from one year ago while 3.5% below the five-year average for this date. As expected, farm stocks rose 618,000 mt or 5.6% to 11.684 mmt, the highest seen in four years while just slightly above the five-year average. This would not be an issue if exports were on track, although Wednesday's Statistics Canada Merchandise trade report shows low erucic acid canola exports down 27.7% from last year over the first five months of the crop year and 36.5% below the three-year average. Licensed exports as of Week 22, or Dec. 31, were down 29.8%.

Barley stocks rose 5.6% from December 22 and 10% above the five-year average to 5.453 mmt, with a larger crop along with reduced demand contributing to the change. Canada's licensed exports as of December are down 44.5% from the previous year as Australia returns to satisfy needs in China. As well, Statistics Canada has estimated feed use at 2.857 mmt over the first five months of 2023-24, down 17% from one year ago and 19% below the five-year average. Declining livestock numbers and accessibility of U.S. corn has taken a bite out of barley demand. Producers' reluctance to sell may have played a small role in this change.

Oat stocks at 2.144 mmt are down 40.3% from December 2022 and down 19.2% from the five-year average. A sharp drop in production is behind this move.

Dry pea stocks of 1.843 mmt are down 15.6% from one year ago and 22.1% below the five-year average. The smaller crop in 2023 contributed to this estimate, while exports as of the end of December are up 22.8% from one year ago.

Lentil stocks as of year-end are shown at 1.002 mmt are down 30.5% from one year ago and 45.7% below the five-year average. This is shown to be the smallest Dec. 31 stocks since December 2009, or 14 years. This is seen due to a sharply lower production achieved in 2023, while despite exports that are seen trailing the previous year over the first five months of the crop year.

Canada's larger soybean production in 2023 and faster pace of exports combined to still leave a larger volume on hand as of Dec. 31. Soybean stocks of 3.831 mmt are up 9.8% from a year ago and 3.2% higher than the five-year average. Exports are reported above 1/mmt in November and December, with cumulative exports as of Dec. 31 up 7.3% from a year ago and 8.5% above the five-year average.

Corn stocks of 11.298 mmt are down 4.8% from a year ago and 0.5% lower than the five-year average. This is despite Canada's record production of 15.076 mmt in 2023, while the pace of exports for 2023-24 is behind the year-ago pace and behind the pace needed to reach the current AAFC export forecast. Statistics Canada data shows a 15.3% increase in total domestic disappearance of corn at 6.1 mmt, while this is largely due to a 22.2% increase in the feed use estimate for corn.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @CliffJamieson

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @CliffJamieson.


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