Statistics Canada's July 1 Canadian livestock estimates showed slightly positive signals, with the first year-over-year increase in July numbers of cattle seen in years. The country's July 1 total of all cattle was reported at 13.205 million head, 1.3% higher than seen on July 1 2015. Statistics Canada, along with various media sources, have reported this as the first year-over-year growth seen since 2012, while I believe this is the first year-over-year increase seen since the move from 16.610 million head in 2004 to 16.880 million head reported for 2005.
While this is an important signal in the market, the July 1 number remains 21.8% or 3.675 million head below the 16.880 million head reported for July 1 2005.
As seen on the chart, the beef cow estimate at 3.8114 million head is a two-year high and the first increase seen since 2012. The number of beef heifers kept for replacement is estimated at 641,8000 head, up 4.5% from July 1 2015 and the highest number seen since 2008. Looking across the country, the beef cow herd in Ontario fell 3% to 268,100 head as of July 1, Manitoba's herd increased 2% to 459,300 head, Saskatchewan's herd increased 1% to 1.159 million head and Alberta's herd was pegged at 1.4993 million head, down .6% from 2015. Alberta remains the country's largest beef producer, with total cattle numbers estimated at 5.370 million head, or 40.7% of the country's total. Saskatchewan is a distant second, with 2.745 million head or 20.8% of the total.
Feedlot owners will be pleased to see the number of calves under one year of age increased to 4.298 million head as of July 1. This is 26% below the 5.816 million head high reached in 2005 and is the first year-over-year increase seen since 2005.
Canada's July 1 hog inventory was reported at 13.450 million head, 1.9% higher than the previous July and the largest number reported in Statistics Canada's bi-annual report since Jan. 1 2007.
Prairie feed users will be encouraged with the prospects of big barley yields helping offset this year's low estimated seeded acres of barley of 6.385 million acres according to Statistics Canada's June surveys. While this is a recovery from the 5.880 million acres estimated for 2014, it is still the second-lowest estimated acres seen since 1941.
Alberta government's most recent barley yield estimate is 71.3 bushels/acre, 4.9% higher than the five-year average. This could prove conservative given that Alberta Agriculture's current crop condition for barley is rated at 81.7% Good to Excellent, well above the average of the past five-years which is calculated at roughly 68.5%. Saskatchewan's most recent yield estimate is 66 bpa, up 18.5% from the five-year average.
Statistics Canada will release their first look at 2016 Canadian production estimates on Aug. 23, 7:30 CDT.
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