Stocks of major crops drop, except canola: StatsCan report

A decline in total crop stocks occurred for the 2018 crop year for all commodities, except for canola, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada. The report, released Tuesday, covers ending stocks to December 31, 2018.

Canola ending stocks sat at a record-high 14.6 million tonnes, an increase of 4.9 per cent from 2017. On-farm stocks gained 6.3 per cent over 2017 to 13.4 million tonnes, while commercial stocks decreased to 1.2 million tonnes in 2018 compared to 1.3 million tonnes in 2017. Although total canola production declined last year,  lower exports and high carry-in farm stocks from the previous crop year has kept stock volumes high. Relatively low prices in the second half of the calendar year also contributed to fewer sales.

In regards to wheat, ending stocks were down 0.2 per cent from the same period last year. On-farm stocks fell from 19.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 19.1 million tonnes in 2018; however, the decrease in on-farm stocks offset the increase in commercial stocks, which rose 9.2 per cent to 4.1 million tonnes in 2018.

Even though wheat production gained six per cent, high exports drove wheat stocks lower. Exports actually increased by 13.5 per cent from the same time last tear to 10 million tonnes by December 31 — which was the highest export volume for the same time period since 2014.

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

Continuing with the decline in stocks, corn for grain stocks fell 7.4 per cent 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. Stats Canada also points out, commercial stocks increased 0.6 per cent over 2017 to 3.0 million tonnes.

Oats stocks were down 19.7 per cent year-over-year to 2.3 million tonnes. Meanwhile, on-farm stocks fell 22.1 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes with commercial stocks rising 15.8 per cent to 220,000 tonnes.

Dry peas and lentils slid 11.4 per cent to 2.5 million tonnes. While on-farm stocks fell 15.8 per cent in 2018 to 2.1 million tonnes, offsetting a 29.9 per cent increase in commercial stocks, which totalled 356 000 tonnes. In comparison, total stocks of lentils were lower in 2018, decreasing 0.8 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes, while on-farm stocks fell 4.9 per cent to 1.9 million tonnes. Commercial stocks rose 69.8 per cent to 197 000 tonnes.

A tariff on lentils and dry peas imposed by India may have resulted in the lower production of the two commodities. Statistics Canada says despite a slight increase in year-over-year exports in 2018, exports of dry peas were 28.4 per cent lower than in December 2016 before the introduction of import tariffs, while lentils were down 48.9 per cent.

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