March 31 Canola Stocks Down; All Wheat Slightly Higher

Canadian canola stocks as of March 31, 2020 were down from a year earlier and the lowest in three years, while all wheat stocks ticked slightly higher.

A Statistics Canada stocks report on Thursday pegged nationwide canola stockpiles as of March 31 at 8.92 million tonnes, down 12.3% from a year earlier and the tightest stocks level for that date since 7.92 million tonnes in 2017. On-farm canola stocks across the country were down 12.3% to 8.9 million tonnes, while commercial stocks increased 11.7% to 1.5 million.

In contrast, total all wheat stocks increased 1.6% year over year to 17.8 million tonnes as of March 31. The increase was led by on-farm stocks, up 5.4% to 13.8 million tonnes, while commercial stocks decreased 9.7% to 4 million tonnes. Durum stocks as of March 31 of 3.2 million tonnes were down about 910,000 tonnes from a year ago and the lowest since March 2016.

According to StatsCan, deliveries of canola grew 7.6% from the previous year to 13.6 million tonnes, while industrial use increased 11.1% to a record high 6.8 million tonnes. On the other hand, despite higher exports to several countries, year-to-date canola exports were down 1.2% to 6.3 million tonnes. That was the lowest level since 2015, and mostly because of lower exports to China, Statscan said.

Based on March – July 2019 usage of 6.34 million tonnes, the March 31 canola stocks level for this year would indicate 2019-20 ending stocks might end up around 2.5 million tonnes, well down from the current Agriculture Canada forecast of 3.2 million.

As for all wheat, deliveries at the national level fell 4.7% to 18.9 million tonnes. In addition, exports of total wheat were down 10.5% from the previous year to 13.9 million tonnes. “The decline in exports was likely due to increased global wheat production and more competition from other exporters, who benefited from closer proximity to markets and lower costs,” StatsCan said.

Domestic use of wheat for livestock feed rose 23.6% to 4.4 million tonnes, because of higher use of wheat for livestock feed in Alberta and Saskatchewan following a shortage of hay.

On-farm wheat stocks in Alberta accounted for the largest share of the year-over-year national increase, rising 11.5% to 5.6 million tonnes. On-farm stocks in Saskatchewan were up 4% to 5.9 million tonnes.

Given March – July 2019 all wheat use of 11.49 million tonnes, all wheat ending stocks for 2019-20 might be expected around 6.3 million tonnes, compared to the current Ag Canada forecast of 5.9 million.

Durum usage between March and July of last year amounted to 2.32 million tonnes, meaning 2019-20 ending stocks might come in around 880,000 tonnes – near Ag Canada’s forecast of 900,000.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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