Canadian stocks of all major grains were sharply higher than a year ago thanks to bumper crops, Statistics Canada reported on Friday, but supplies of wheat, canola and oats fall below market predictions.
As of March 31, total wheat stocks were 15.5 million tonnes, up 35.6 per cent from a year earlier but well below the 16.7 million estimate of grain analysts and traders.
Stocks of durum wheat were as large as expected at 3.8 million tonnes or 85.8 per cent higher than last year, so the smaller-than-anticipated all-wheat stocks likely reflect that more spring wheat was used as feed.
Supplies of the new North American wheat crop are expected to decline, in part because of spring wheat seeding concerns in the U. S. and Canada. But larger global production than previously estimated and a decline in world consumption could cause Canadian exports to drop and partially offset smaller-than-expected supplies, industry observers said.
Barley stocks of six million tonnes are higher than the trade estimate of 5.6 million tonnes and 35.7 per cent higher than a year ago. The extra feed barley supply should compensate for less feed wheat being available, Citigroup analyst Terry Reilly said.
Canola stocks were 5.9 million tonnes, below the trade’s 6.1-million tonne average estimate but 27.9 per cent higher than a year ago.
Oat stocks totalled 2.5 million tonnes, less than the trade estimate of 2.7 million and up 9.4 per cent from a year ago.
A big crop of peas resulted in stocks jumping 92.5 per cent to 1.7 million tonnes.