Statistics Canada is out with its first results of this year’s Field Crop Survey to gauge how much of each principal field crop is currently stored on-farm.
The survey was conducted from the beginning until the end of March.
According to the report, farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds, and special crops in on-farm storage. In regards to canola and soybeans, both stocks increased year-over-year by 10.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, stocks of wheat, barley, corn for grain, oats, dry peas and lentils were down compared with this time last year 2018.
The increase in canola was led by on-farm stocks which increased 16.5 per cent compared with the previous year, to 8.8 million tonnes, while commercial stocks fell 20 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes. At the end of March, higher stocks were a result of fewer deliveries and lower exports in the first quarter of the calendar year.
According to StatsCan, deliveries continued to be slowed by lower producer prices, which fell from above $500/mt during the same time in 2018, to under $460/mt in 2019, and reduced export demand, which in turn was pressured in part by high global oilseed stocks.
In regards to soybeans, commercial stocks were responsible for the increase in total soybean stocks, rising 11.8 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes; however, on-farm stocks were down 0.5 per cent to 1.7 million tonnes.
Wheat stocks declined by 4.3 per cent to 15.7 million tonnes. The decrease was led by on-farm stocks, which fell 10.3 per cent year over year to 11.4 million tonnes while commercial stocks of wheat were up 16.4 per cent to 4.3 million tonnes.
Nationally, exports increased by 9.1 per cent — the highest level on record for this period. This was likely due to strong global demand coupled with lower competition from other major wheat-producing countries. It’s also worth mentioning, farm level stocks in Saskatchewan accounted for the greatest proportion of the year-over year decrease, falling 15.8 per cent to 4.9 million tonnes. Alberta reported slightly higher on-farm stocks, rising 0.4 per cent to 4.5 million tonnes.
As for dry peas, stocks at the national level, fell to 1.7 million tonnes which is down 25.7 per cent compared with the same date one year earlier. While commercial stocks were up 11.5 per cent to 388 700 tonnes, on-farm stocks offset this increase, falling 32.5 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes.
Total stocks of lentils decreased 15.4 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes compared to the same date one year earlier. The decrease was a result of lower on-farm (-15.6%) and commercial (-14.5%) stocks.
Dry pea exports rose to 2.1 million tonnes from 1.8 million tonnes one year earlier. Despite ongoing tariffs on pea exports to India, exports to other countries, such as China and Bangladesh, have contributed to the growth in exports.
According to StatsCanada, stocks data are subject to revisions during the two years following their initial publication.