Canadian farmers and crop handlers had the second-largest supply of pasta-producing durum wheat in at least 30 years on March 31, Statistics Canada said May 9, as big global stocks grew faster than demand.
Stocks of barley, oats and canola were sharply smaller, StatsCan said.
Stocks of durum were 4.625 million tonnes, up 23 per cent from a year earlier. Those stocks are the largest since supplies of 5.2 million tonnes in 2006, and second biggest in StatsCan’s available records dating back 30 years.
Farmers have had to sit on big durum stocks a few times in the past decade and are responding to currently bearish supplies by planting far less of it this spring, said Ken Ball, futures and options broker at Union Securities in Winnipeg.
The Canadian Wheat Board has told farmers it is only accepting 60 per cent of their 2009-10 durum.
All-wheat stocks, which include durum, spring wheat and winter wheat, are down 3.5 per cent to 15.684 million tonnes.
Statistics Canada gives estimates of the acreage of major crops on June 23.
Canola stocks were 5.438 million tonnes, down nearly 12 per cent from a year earlier to the lowest level in two years, as Canada’s crushing capacity expands.
Barley stocks dropped 15 per cent to 5.096 million tonnes, the smallest in two years. Oat stocks fell 27 per cent to 1.936 million tonnes, the lowest level in three years.
Lower stocks of canola, barley and oats are mainly a result of reduced crop production in 2009, StatsCan said.