In its annual September satellite-based production estimates, StatsCan updated wheat yields of all types in the Great White North to 46.9 bushels per acre. This is up from the 43.9 reported a few weeks ago in their first estimates of Canadian wheat production.
This would put Canadian total wheat yields 2.7 bushels per acre lower than last year’s 49.6 bushels per acre (-5.4%) and 4.3% worse than the 5-year average of 49 bushels per acre.
In the August report, StatsCan said Canadian total wheat production would come in at 29 MMT. In this new estimate though, StatsCan is now saying that Canadian total wheat production in 2018 will be 31.0 MMT, up 7.0% or 203,000 month-over-month.
This new estimate is now 3.5% better than last year’s 30 MMT and 1.1% down from the 5-year average of 31.4 MMT.
Specific to winter wheat, StatsCan said that production would total 2.39 MMT, thanks to average yields of 72.8 bushels per acre. Compare this to the estimate on August 31st of 2.39 MMT of winter wheat and average winter wheat yields of 72.8 bushels per acre.
For this report, StatsCan is using the harvested acreage of 24.28 million acres of all wheat acres from the August report (based off a July farmer-survey) and then are multiplied by wheat yields derived by satellite data taken on August 31st. Specific to winter wheat, they’re using a harvested acreage number of 1.208 million.
As per Statistics Canada, wheat yields and production estimates are the based off coarse resolution satellite data, StatsCan’s previous August estimates, and agroclimatic data.
Worth also mentioning is that Agriculture Canada updated its supply and demand tables for Canadian wheat (not including durum) yesterday.
In it, AgCanada dropped wheat exports and food/industrial use by 100,000 MT each, but increased feed use by 171,000 MT. One could certainly argue that given the recent wet weather in Western Canada, the amount of Canadian wheat going into the feed use column could certainly increase. As a reminder, we strongly advocate getting your grain tested as buyers are going to be very finicky this year when it comes to quality of cereals, much like in the 2016/17 crop year.
Regardless, these data points, combined with their production number of 24.47 MMT (taken from StatsCan’s August estimate of wheat not including durum), 2018/19 Canadian wheat ending stocks are estimated at 4 MMT, down 273,000 MT from the August AAFC estimate.
However, if we account for StatsCan’s new production number of 25.28 MMT, and assume all other supply and demand factors stay the same, Canadian 2018/19 wheat ending stocks (not including durum) would end up at 4.81 MMT.
Overall, the StatsCan report today was mostly bearish for wheat prices in Canada.
We’re certainly aware of the changes to the import and export numbers made by Agriculture Canada, and we’ll be digging into the implications further in this weekend’s regular GrainCents Weekly Winter Wheat Digest.