Statistics Canada released its estimates for 2012 year-end crop stocks today. As of December 31, total stocks of most principal field crops were down compared with the same date in 2011. Corn is the big exception — record yields in 2012 have boosted on-farm stocks.
Canola stocks are estimated at 7.4 million tonnes, a 23.6% drop from December 31, 2011. It was the third consecutive decline and the lowest level at December 31 for total canola stocks since the same date in 2006. Production of canola fell from 14.6 million tonnes in 2011 to 13.3 million tonnes in 2012.
Total stocks of wheat edged down 0.7% from December 31, 2011, to just under 20.7 million tonnes. This occurred despite a 7.6% increase in wheat production in 2012. Total stocks of durum wheat, down 4.1%, accounted for most of this decline. On-farm stocks for all types of wheat rose 1.7% to 16.5 million tonnes compared with the same period in 2011. However, commercial stocks fell 9.1% to 4.2 million tonnes.
Stocks of oats recorded a 19.8% decline to 1.9 million tonnes nationally, primarily due to a 21.2% decrease in on-farm stocks. This decline mirrored a 15.0% decrease in oat production in 2012.
Total stocks of barley fell 7.2% to 5.1 million tonnes, mainly as a result of a 6.2% decline in volumes kept on farms. Stocks were down despite a 1.5% rise in barley production in 2012. Barley stocks have been declining for the last four years.
On-farm stocks of soybeans decreased 25.6% to 1.3 million tonnes nationally, while commercial stocks rose 36.5% to 1.1 million tonnes, their highest level since 2006. Consequently, total stocks of soybeans fell 6.7% to 2.4 million tonnes. This occurred despite a 14.7% production increase in 2012.
Total stocks of corn for grain, on the other hand, set a record high of 10.4 million tonnes, a 9.8% rise over December 2011. This followed record production of 13.1 million tonnes in 2012. The biggest contribution came from on-farm stocks, which increased 11.0% to 7.8 million tonnes.