Canada Markets

Statistics Canada September Production Estimates Versus Final Estimates

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This bar chart measures the percent change between the Statistics Canada September production estimates and the final production estimates released by Statistics Canada. The red bars represent 2012 data, while the blue bars represent the 2008 to 2012 average. (DTN Graphic by Nick Scalise)

The word "exceptional" has been used over and over to describe the crop across the Canadian prairies. In a CBC interview, Doug Chorney, the president of the Keystone Agriculture Producers, suggests that wheat yields in Manitoba of up to 80 bushels per acre are "almost like growing two crops in one."

A Commodity News Service survey of analysts is suggesting the canola crop estimate will range from 14.8 to 17.5 million metric tonnes, which compares to 14.737 mmt estimate released in the last report and 13.869 mmt production in 2012/13. There's no doubt it's a big crop, with production estimates even as high as 18 mmt thrown out. At the same time, history would suggest that Friday's report will be conservative. The attached chart would indicate that while the final canola production estimate exceeded the September estimate by 3.81% in 2012, over the past five years, the percent change between the September estimate and the final production estimate has averaged 16.3%.

Trade analysts are expecting a durum estimate ranging from 5.2 to 6.2 mmt. This would compare to the August estimate of 5.117 mt and 2012/13 production of 4.627 mmt. As seen on the attached chart, the percent change between the September estimate and the final estimated yields has been consistent, with both 2012 and the five-year average indicated at 5.2%.

The all-wheat estimate as indicated by analysts should range from 30.7 mmt to 34.5 mmt. This compares to the 30.562 mmt estimate obtained from the July surveys, while the 2012/13 all-wheat production totaled 27.205 mmt. Again, look for this number to be conservative in nature. On the attached chart, we see that in 2012, the percent change between the September estimate and the final production figure for spring wheat was 1.1%, while over the five-year period between 2008 to 2012, the average percent change was 5.7%, which is somewhat consistent with what's seen with the durum estimates.

Analysts are pegging oat production to range from 2.8 to 3.4 mmt. This compares to the latest estimate at 2.907 mmt and last year's production of 2.812 mmt. In 2012, the September estimate for oats was over-stated for oats by 4.32% as compared to the final estimate, while over the past five years, the final production figure has averaged 2% higher than the September estimate.

Barley production is forecast to range from 8.5 to 9.8 mmt, which compares to the July estimate of 8.807 mmt and last year's final production figure of 8.012 mmt. Barley production was also overstated by 6.74% in 2012, although over the past five years, the September estimate has averaged 1.1% higher than actual production.

Also seen on the chart is the fact that some of the largest swings have taken place with estimates for peas, corn and soybeans. Over the past five years, the final estimate for pea production has averaged 12.6% higher than the September estimate, while the final corn estimate has averaged 8.9% higher than the September estimate and the final estimate for soybeans has averaged 7.5% higher than the September estimate.

Timing will ultimately play a role in the collection and reporting of this data. Of course, it's doubtful the soybean or corn harvest had started at the time of the data collection, while the harvest for the balance of the grains would only be in early stages, requiring additional adjustments to the crop in the December report.

Chris Jamieson can be reached at



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10/3/2013 | 8:19 AM CDT
The Grain industry is prone to over estimation of the crop size which of course drives prices lower. Farmers need not play into this game by over stating their own yields !