Statistics Canada released its updated acreage estimates for 2021 on Tuesday morning, most of which were in line with expectations.

Most notably, StatsCan boosted its canola acreage estimate to 22.48 million acres, up from 21.53 million in its April acreage report. Year-over-year, that’s an 8.2 per cent increase in canola acres, largely driven by strong prices.

The increase in canola area is only a part of the equation for the canola market right now, notes Brian Voth, CEO of IntelliFarm.

“With the hot and dry temperatures across most of western Canada, seeing an average yield is really being brought into question,” says Voth. “Even with a five-year average yield, the canola balance sheet would still have been tight, but if that yield starts coming down by a bushel per acre or more, we will need to see some heavy demand cutting once again, similar to the past year.”

Wheat acreage, including durum, was pegged at 23.36 million acres, almost unchanged from 23.26 million in April, and down 6.5 per cent from 2020.

Grain corn area took a slight hit, down from 3.62 million acres in the April report to 3.47 million in the June report.

Barley acres were also down from the April report, coming in at 8.30 million versus the April estimate of 8.61 million — still well above last year’s acreage of 7.56 million.

As for oats, StatsCan tweaked its estimate from 3.61 million acres in April to 3.42 million in Tuesday’s report.

Soybean acres, meanwhile, were estimated at 5.32 million acres, down from 5.35 million in April.

In the specialty market, canary seed was projected at 314 thousand acres, up 15 per cent from last year, while StatsCan says chickpea acres have declined by 38 per cent from last year, down to 186 thousand acres.

In general, Voth says most crops grown in Canada – with a couple of exceptions — don’t have much of a buffer going into this harvest, giving little room for production problems.

“That is certainly looking like it is going to be an issue at this point, suggesting Canada will have much less usable stocks than normal, after already seeing below average stocks from the past year,” he says. “If our issues are compounded by production problems in the U.S., it could be another year like 2012, and the function of price will be to ration demand and encourage production in 2022.”

Check out the full report here.

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