Canadian canola crop smaller than expected, October 9, 2012
by Jay Sjerven

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A smaller-than-expected Canadian canola crop heightened market concerns over a tightening in edible oil supply in North America in the current marketing year. Statistics Canada on Oct. 4 estimated the Canadian canola crop at 13,359,000 tonnes, down 13% from the record 15,410,000 tonnes forecast in August and down 8% from 14,493,000 tonnes in 2011. The trade expected a 14.7-million-tonne estimate from Statistics Canada, which still would have made for record production this year. Statistics Canada said in commentary accompanying the production estimates, “Despite a larger harvested area compared with 2011, Prairie farmers anticipate an 8.1% decline in canola production to 13.2 million tonnes. This is a result of a 17.5% drop in yield to 28.2 bus per acre.” In the wake of the canola crop estimate, the premium to Chicago soybean oil futures prices asked for refined canola oil in the U.S. Midwest widened to 6¼c per lb from 5c, and the cash basis on U.S. soybean oil advanced as refiners pondered the ramifications on soybean oil demand of a tighter-than-expected canola supply.

Statistics Canada estimated Canadian wheat production in 2012 at 26,733,000 tonnes, down 280,000 tonnes from the August forecast but up 6% from 25,261,000 tonnes in 2011. It would be the largest Canadian wheat crop since 26,848,000 tonnes in 2009. Durum production was estimated at 4,398,000 tonnes, up 125,000 tonnes from the August forecast and up 5% from 4,172,000 tonnes in 2011. Production of spring wheat other than durum was estimated at 18,641,000 tonnes, down 2% from the August forecast but up 3% from 18,031,000 tonnes a year ago. Winter wheat production was estimated at 3,694,000 tonnes, up 12,000 tonnes from the August forecast and up 21% from 3,058,000 tonnes in 2011.

Statistics Canada estimated Canadian oats production at 2,939,000 tonnes, down 42,000 tonnes from the August forecast and down 2% from 2,997,000 tonnes in 2011.

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