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Canadian wheat crop looks biggest in seven years, canola harvest smaller

Canadian farmers are set to harvest the biggest wheat crop in seven years and slightly less canola, Statistics Canada said on Monday in its first production estimates.

Statscan pegged the all-wheat harvest at 35.7 million tonnes, up from last year’s 32.3 million and slightly exceeding the average trade expectation.

Bigger wheat production was driven by a 39 per cent jump in durum output.

Brian Voth, president of IntelliFARM, was skeptical of the high wheat estimates, on a call to discuss the results organised by MGEX.

“As harvest got underway, a lot of the yields were disappointing from what they looked like (earlier),” he said.

Durum, used to make pasta, was in tight supply entering the year, Mr Voth said.

Last week the International Grains Council raised its forecast for 2020/21 world wheat production to 763 million tonnes.

Traders have said the Canadian government agency’s modelling, using satellite technology that incorporated data up until July 31, ended too early to capture a heat wave that likely shrivelled yields. Statscan normally surveys farmers but used models instead to alleviate stress on them during the pandemic.

Canola production looked set to reach 19.4 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, smaller than last year’s 19.5 million and below the average trade guess of 20 million tonnes.

Statistics Canada adjusted last year’s harvest estimate higher from 18.6 million.

ICE Canada November canola futures traded 0.7 per cent higher, with other oilseeds also stronger.

The canola estimate looked “a tad low,” said Uros Vukov, a broker at StoneX, adding that Statscan typically underestimates production in August.

Canola prices soared this month to nearly two-year highs, as exporters found roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyer China during its diplomatic dispute with Canada.

Canada is one of the world’s largest wheat exporters and the biggest shipper of canola.
Source: Reuters

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