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Upward nudge expected in StatsCan’s production survey

Following its lower-than-expected forecast in October, market participants expect an upward nudge in most production estimates for Canada’s grains and oilseeds when Statistics Canada releases its last survey for 2011-12, due out Tuesday.

Most industry participants still believe the previous production survey from the government agency was underestimated and some upward revisions will occur, said Ken Ball, a broker with Union Securities in Winnipeg.

There’s a belief, he noted, that producers lowballed their production estimates when StatsCan officials performed the previous survey.

Jerry Klassen, manager of GAP SA Grains and Products in Winnipeg, agreed the estimates will be adjusted upward for most crops.

"Part of the increase will reflect the fact that farmers benefited from fairly optimal growing conditions during the summer and good weather conditions during the harvest," Klassen said.

Yields in Alberta and Saskatchewan for the various crops were better than anticipated, he said, while in Manitoba yields were average to a bit below expectations.

Ron Frost, a grain and oilseed analyst with Frost Forecast Consulting agreed that some production figures in the December report should be slightly higher than current StatsCan estimates.

However, he also felt some may be a bit lower than anticipated.

Frost also pointed out there will be no shortage of canola, even if Statistics Canada doesn’t raise its production forecast for canola, despite most anticipating a jump.

The following are Statistics Canada’s estimates and pre-report ideas for 2011-12 Canadian production, in millions of tonnes.

  Trade StatsCan StatsCan
  estimates September 2010-11
  2011-12 2011-12  
Canola 13.500 – 14.400 12.928 12.773
All wheat 24.200 – 25.200 24.160 23.167
Barley 7.910 – 8.400 7.898 7.605
Oats 2.082 – 3.600 2.887 2.479
Peas 1.990 – 2.500 2.008 3.018
Flaxseed 0.385 – 0.400 0.378 0.423

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