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AAFC Predicts Stocks Offsetting Lower Production Staff

Canadian wheat was delayed by below-normal temperatures in the spring and the first half of the summer, but unusually warm and mostly dry conditions in September in Western Canada resulted in normal to better-than-normal quality.

Market analysts at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada foresee lower production of wheat, durum and barley in 2009-10, offset by availability of carry-in stocks.

AAFC’s market analysis group Nov. 6 estimated a 15 per cent decrease in Canada’s wheat production from 2008-09 levels to 19.5 million tonnes, durum production down eight per cent to 5.1 million tonnes, and barley production falling 22 per cent to 9.2 million tonnes.

Canadian wheat supply, however, is estimated to fall by nine per cent to 24.2 million tonnes, as higher carry-in stocks partly offset lower production. Carry-out stocks are forecast to decrease by 14 per cent to a “relatively low” four million tonnes.

In wheat other than durum, a three per cent increase in Canada’s seeded acres is expected to be “more than offset by higher abandonment and lower yields,” with winter wheat production expected to drop 37 per cent alone.

Canadian wheat was delayed by below-normal temperatures in the spring and the first half of the summer, but unusually warm and mostly dry conditions in September in Western Canada resulted in normal to better-than-normal quality with a slightly lower-than-normal protein content, AAFC said, noting some wheat remains to be harvested due to wet weather.

Canada’s durum-seeded area dropped seven per cent for 2009-10, but production is expected to drop eight per cent due also to “higher abandonment.” But supply is predicted to rise 10 per cent to seven million tonnes, as higher carry-in stocks more than offset lower production.

The quality of the 2009-10 durum crop is better than normal due to “near-ideal” harvest conditions during September, but with a slightly lower-than-normal protein content. Some durum remains to be harvested, AAFC noted.

AAFC said its Canadian barley yield and production estimates “contain a greater-than-normal degree of uncertainty” due to this year’s “abnormal” growing conditions. Canada’s barley yield is expected to drop based

on both smaller seeded area and reduced yields.

And for 2009-10, domestic feed, waste and dockage is expected to drop about four per cent on reduced livestock feeding and increased competition from low-grade wheat and increased supplies of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS).

Domestic consumption of barley in 2009-10 to produce malt is estimated at slightly over a million tonnes, of which just under 200,000 tonnes are expected to be used domestically while the rest is exported, mainly to the U. S. and China, AAFC said.

Worldwide, total non-durum wheat production for 2009-10 is forecast to fall two per cent from 2008-09 to 668 million tonnes, but supply is expected to rise four per cent to 835 million tonnes because of higher carry-in stocks.

A slight increase in world durum production is forecast for 2009-10 at 39 million tonnes, but supply is expected to increase by six per cent to 42.5 million tonnes because of higher carry-in stocks in Canada, the European Union and the U. S.

AAFC noted the U. S. Department of Agriculture expects world barley production to drop by about four per cent, to 147 million tonnes due to lower production in the EU-27, Russia and Canada, partly offset by minor increases in Australia, Morocco, Ukraine, Turkey and Iran.

However, AAFC said, world supplies of barley are expected to decline only marginally due to the sharp rise in carry-in stocks.

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