Comparative table of StatsCan data and market expectations

(mln tonnes)

Statscan

2018

Average estimate

Lowest estimate

Highest estimate

Statscan

2017

All wheat

23.233

23.4

23.0

23.9

23.283

Durum

5.328

5.2

5.1

5.2

4.734

Canola

14.553

14.7

14.2

15.9

13.869

Oats

2.316

2.6

2.3

2.8

2.883

Barley

4.938

5.6

5.2

6.0

6.033

Flaxseed

0.356

0.410

0.360

0.500

0.521

As of December 31, 2018, total stocks of most major field crops in Canada were down from the same date in 2017. Total stocks for wheat, barley, soybeans, corn for grain, lentils, and dry peas were lower than the previous year, while stocks for canola increased.

In general, the decline in total stocks was the result of lower production of almost all major field crops in 2018, combined with higher exports.

Wheat

At the national level, total wheat stocks on December 31, 2018 were down 0.2% from the same period in 2017, to 23.2 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell from 19.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 19.1 million tonnes in 2018. The decrease in on-farm stocks offset the increase in commercial stocks, which rose 9.2% to 4.1 million tonnes in 2018.

While wheat production rose 6.0% at the national level in 2018, higher exports drove wheat stocks lower. Wheat exports increased 13.5% from the same date one year earlier to 10.0 million tonnes on December 31, the highest export volume for the same period since 2014.

Canola

Canola stocks rose to a record-high 14.6 million tonnes in 2018, a 4.9% increase from the previous year. On-farm stocks rose 6.3% over 2017 to 13.4 million tonnes. Commercial stocks decreased to 1.2 million tonnes in 2018, from 1.3 million tonnes in 2017.

Despite lower total production in 2018, canola stocks rose compared with one year earlier, due in large part to lower exports and high carry-in farm stocks from the previous crop year. Lower prices in the second half of the calendar year, combined with poor weather conditions in the Prairies during harvest, contributed to a decline in deliveries compared with the previous year.

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain stocks fell 7.4% from December 31, 2017 to 11.5 million tonnes. On-farm stocks decreased from 9.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 8.5 million tonnes in 2018. Conversely, commercial stocks increased 0.6% over 2017 to 3.0 million tonnes.

Soybeans

Total stocks of soybeans in Canada fell from 4.4 million tonnes on December 31, 2017 to 4.0 million tonnes in 2018. On-farm stocks fell 12.9% from the same date in 2017 to 2.6 million tonnes. Meanwhile, commercial stocks rose 0.8% over the same period to 1.4 million tonnes.

Barley

Overall stocks of barley decreased to 4.9 million tonnes in 2018, down 1.1 million tonnes from the previous year. The decline was primarily fuelled by on-farm stocks, which fell 19.3% compared with 2017 to 4.6 million tonnes. Commercial stocks rose to 296 000 tonnes (+5.7%) compared with one year earlier.

Oats

As of December 31, 2018, total stocks of oats were down 19.7% year over year to 2.3 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell 22.1% to 2.1 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 15.8% to 220 000 tonnes.

Dry peas and lentils

Nationally, stocks of dry field peas declined 11.4% from the same date in 2017 to 2.5 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell 15.8% in 2018 to 2.1 million tonnes, offsetting a 29.9% increase in commercial stocks, which totalled 356 000 tonnes.

Similarly, total stocks of lentils were lower in 2018, decreasing 0.8% to 2.1 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell 4.9% to 1.9 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 69.8% to 197 000 tonnes.

Lower production of lentils and dry peas, possibly the result of import tariffs introduced by India in the fall of 2017, resulted in lower stocks in 2018. Despite a slight increase in year-over-year exports in 2018, exports of dry peas were 28.4% lower than in December 2016 before the introduction of import tariffs, while lentils were down 48.9%.

Total stocks of principal field crops at December 31

December 2016

December 2017

December 2018

December 2016 to December 2017

December 2017 to December 2018

thousands of tonnes

% change

Total wheat

24 094

23 283

23 233

-3.4

-0.2

Durum wheat

6 140

4 734

5 328

-22.9

12.5

Wheat excluding durum

17 954

18 549

17 905

3.3

-3.5

Barley

6 462

6 033

4 938

-6.6

-18.2

Canola

13 383

13 869

14 553

3.6

4.9

Corn for grain

11 650

12 420

11 502

6.6

-7.4

Dry field peas

2 705

2 823

2 502

4.4

-11.4

Flaxseed

588

521

356

-11.4

-31.7

Lentils

1 719

2 111

2 094

22.8

-0.8

Oats

2 509

2 883

2 316

14.9

-19.7

Rye

298

335

139

12.4

-58.5

Soybeans

3 315

4 365

3 994

31.7

-8.5