On Friday, June 29, Statistics Canada released its second farmer-survey based results of 2018 acreage intentions in Canada. Specifically, for peas, the results were essentially what the market was expecting.
StatsCan says that Canadian farmers will plant 3.6 million acres of peas. Going into the report, the market was expecting to see between 3.5 to 3.9 million acres, so you could argue that this report is mostly neutral for peas prices.
Compared to April’s estimate of 3.87 million acres, StatsCan revised the peas number downwards by 7%. From an absolute standpoint, this is 265,500 acres less than what StatsCan said in April.
Compared to the five-year average of 3.9 million acres, Canadian peas acres are now estimated as 8% lower.
Compared to last year’s 4.09 million acres, June 2018 Canadian peas acres are down by about 12%.
Check out the breakdown by the province in the table below. Note that farmers in Ontario are considering peas on their acreage mix this spring. It is the first estimate for peas acres in Ontario that StatsCan has ever reported.
We need to point out that, on average, StatsCan’s second peas acreage estimate in June is revised by a further 0.5% to the upside by the final report in December. This means that perhaps we could expect the final December acreage number for peas to be 3.62 million acres.
As we reported in last Sunday’s Peas Digest, the Canadian Prairies are slated to experience dry weather conditions this summer. Thus, it might be safe to assume that we could see some below-average yields.
With harvested acres usually coming as 98.3% of planted acres for Canadian peas, and assuming a slightly below the five-year average yield of 33.2 bushels per acre, this means we could see a total 2018/19 harvest of 3.51 million tonnes. This would be:
– 14.6 % below last year’s Canadian peas crop of 4.11 million tonnes.
– 8.8% less than Agriculture Canada’s 2018/19 June production estimate of 3.85 million tonnes.
Ultimately, the crop is far from being in the bin, but this is one of the goalposts that we’re going to use going forward.