Crop upgrade lifts hopes for Canada wheat exports
Hopes for Canada’s wheat exports nudged higher after the country’s upgraded ideas for the rebound in its harvest this year, boosted by yields which in Manitoba jumped by 27%.
Canada’s wheat harvest reached 27.2m tonnes, some 500,000 tonnes higher than previously thought, Statistics Canada said.
The figure, a 7.6% rise year on year, and at the upper end of market expectations, raised expectations that Canada could be on course to lift its exports even beyond levels currently being factored in – potentially at the expense of US trade.
Canada’s farm ministry has pegged domestic wheat shipments in 2012-13 at 18.75m tonnes, with the US Department of Agriculture and International Grains Council putting the figure at 19.0m tonnes.
‘Could get aggressive on exports’
However, a figure of 19.0m-20.0m tonnes looks "easily within reach", Benson Quinn Commodities analyst Brian Henry said.
StatsCan Canada crop estimates, change on last and (year-on-year)
All wheat: 27.205m tonnes, +472,000 tonnes, (+7.6%)
Canola: 13.310m tonnes, -49,000 tonnes, (-8.9%)
Corn for grain: 13.060m tonnes, +1,484m tonnes, (+15.0%)
Barley: 8.012m tonnes, -579,000 tonnes,(+1.5%)
Soybeans: 4.930m tonnes, +650,000 tonnes, (+14.7%)
Oats: 2.684m tonnes, -255,000 tonnes, (-15.0%)
"This morning’s figures indicated they could get aggressive on exports," Mr Henry told Agrimoney.com, adding that the "vast majority" of Canada’s crop was of high quality too."Depending on how much the trade believes they need to carry forward, exporters in Canada have a lot of work to do," probably largely "at the expense of" US hard red winter wheat.
Improved Canadian supplies would represent a second fillip this week for importers, after Australian officials on Monday came in with an export forecast some 4m tonnes higher than the USDA is factoring in.
Wheat stocks in major exporters have been seen falling to a five-year low in 2012-13.
While Canadian wheat is more directly comparable to US hard red spring wheat, opportunities for extra trade in this area appear more limited, with American shipments performing well.
It is in competing against hard red winter wheat that Canada may find more joy, Mr Henry said, adding that "one market that has popped up is Brazil", which last month purchased hard milling wheat from Germany.
Brazil, besides itself believed to have suffered a disappointing harvest, with its Conab crop bureau pegging the domestic 2012-13 crop at 4.4m tonnes compared with the USDA estimate of 5.0m tonnes.
And Brazil’s typical source of import supplies, Argentina, is seeing a sharp drop in output too, undermined by a switch to barley and excessive rain.
‘Adverse effect on yields’
The StatsCan data also showed that Canada’s soybean harvest had been bigger than thought, reaching a record 4.9m tonnes, up 14.7% year on year, and 650,000 tonnes higher than the previous estimate.
However, the figure for Canada’s important canola crop was trimmed further, by some 50,000 tonnes to 13.3m tonnes, after "weather conditions during harvest, such as hail, had an adverse effect on yields".
And the estimate for the barley harvest was downgraded by nearly 600,000 tonnes to 8.0m tonnes.
With investors having expected the canola harvest to be pegged at 13.7m-tonnes, futures in the oilseed gained ground in Winnipeg, standing 1.3% higher at Can$597.60 a tonne in afternoon deals.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:40 pm
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Manitoba canola yields disappointing producers
Posted Aug. 29th, 2012 by Robert Arnason
Canola growers in Manitoba have been extremely disappointed by yields this harvest season, as record temperatures and arid conditions hindered pod development in July.
Yet, the extreme heat may not be the only factor behind poor canola returns, which ranged from 20 to 25 bushels per acre on many farms, because blackleg also robbed canola growers of yield in 2012, says a provincial oilseed specialist.
As a case in point, when Ed Rempel harvested the northern portion of one of his canola fields in August, the yield meter on his combine dropped dramatically.
The remainder of the field produced 40 bushels per acre or higher, but in his 80 acres of lower lying land the yield sank to nearly 25 bushels an acre.
“I saw a substantial 12 to 15 bushel decrease in the blackleg area of the field,” said Rempel, who farms near Starbuck and is president of the Manitoba Canola Growers Association. “Fifteen bushels an acre is $200 an acre.”
Manitoba Agriculture’s annual canola disease survey, done in late July and early August, showed that blackleg was present in 70 to 75 percent of canola fields, said Anastasia Kubinec, provincial oilseed specialist.
While that’s higher than previous years, the bigger story is the severity of blackleg in the 2012 canola crop.
“We’re seeing more plants within each field that are affected,” Kubinec said. “Normally, we’re usually seeing that 10 percent (of plants) in a field have blackleg. We’ve had a lot more cases this year where we have seen 60, 70 or 80 percent (of plants) had blackleg.”
It’s only a rough estimate, but Kubinec guessed that blackleg reduced canola yields in Manitoba by 10 percent this year.
Blackleg acts like an elastic around a plant’s stem, restricting its ability to draw moisture and pull nutrients up through the stem, Kubinec explained.
Most fields developed blackleg later in the growing season, which hindered plant development during the final stages of pod filling.
“Instead of having the seed…off those top pods, it has completely dried out and they’ve blown out the back of the combine, or you have really small seeds in your sample,” she noted.
Manitoba Agriculture surveyed 150 canola fields throughout the province for disease this summer. As part of the process, they send a letter to the grower with information on the level of disease in the crop.
Normally the letter goes out in October, but this year it was sent in the fourth week of August because growers will soon making seeding plans for 2013. In the letter, Manitoba Agriculture recommended that growers rotate away from canola.
“If you have high incidence of blackleg you should maybe think twice about putting canola on that field next year. Or even two years from now,” Kubinec said.
Rempel is one grower who is taking the recommendation to heart.
“No canola in this (blackleg) field… until 2016,” Rempel said, unless he divides the field and plants canola on the portion without blackleg prior to 2016.
Overall, canola yields on Rempel’s farm this year were well below average. Most of his 600 acres yielded less than 25 bushels per acre because of the extreme heat in July.
Looking beyond his farm, Rempel said canola acres in Manitoba’s Red River Valley are bound to decline in 2013 and beyond, because disease and climate pressure will push growers towards other crops.
“Looking out at the cropping landscape for the next year, I’m seeing that in the (Red River) valley we will lose canola acres to soybeans in a very real way,” said Rempel, who plans to cut his canola acreage next year.
“I think everyone in Western Canada has been pushing their rotations…. In the (Red River) valley, maybe some of those chickens are coming home to roost.”
Besides blackleg, Rempel is also concerned about the extreme weather that has become a normal part of the growing season in North America.
Assuming record hot spells, 100 millimetre rainfalls and periods of drought are part of a new climate reality, Rempel said the canola industry might need to respond accordingly.
“For canola growers, in the valley for sure, what we need are varieties that are more robust, that maybe aren’t the yield prima donnas, but can hang onto a good average yield through times of crop stress,” he said.
“The geneticists have been trying to give us about two percent yield increase per year… and God bless them for it. But from where I’m sitting, it looks like we need more robust varieties.”
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:05 pm
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Disappointing early yields support canola futures
Posted Aug. 16th, 2012 by D’Arce McMillan
Canola futures prices rose Thursday on disappointing early yields while soybeans fell and wheat posted solid gains on worries about how much Black Sea producers will be able to export.
It was a “risk on” day generally in all markets with stocks, crude oil, gold and copper up on hopes that Europe and China will take measures to stimulate their economies.
November canola closed at $610.80, up $2.80, but off the day’s high.
Frost might have touched some southern Saskatchewan crops early this morning but generally it appears temperatures were well above the freezing point. Perhaps Regina was the coldest. The Weather Network says the temperature in Regina fell to 4 C early this morning.
• Canola is getting support from reports that early harvested canola is producing lower than expected yields.
The Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report today says four percent of the overall crop is harvested and another seven percent is in swath. The most harvest progress is in winter crops and pulses. Eleven percent of canola has been swathed.
There are indications that sclerotinia, aster yellows, bertha armyworms and flea beetles will reduce canola yield in some regions. Indeed there are mentions in several regions that canola yields might not be as good as initially expected due to disease and insects. This mirrors reports from Manitoba.
• Soybeans today edged back on weaker cash demand after gaining earlier in the week when exporters improved basis to pry soybean supplies from farmers to meet immediate sale orders.
Last week, export sales for this soybean crop, which ends Aug. 31 in the U.S., and the new crop combined topped analysts’ expectation and were the largest since June, according to USDA figures.
• Weather forecasts for the Midwest show improving opportunity for significant rain next week.
• Wheat is the best performer today as traders assess news from SovEcon of tight Aug. 1 grain stocks in Russia, the lowest since 2006. Wheat stocks are the lowest since 2003. The new crop will not help replenish stocks. The Russian harvest is about half complete and so far wheat yields are down about 30 percent from last year.
The situation has revived trader speculation that Russia might yet restrict wheat exports. Russian officials said last week that they do not plan restrictions at least until the end of December. SovEcon noted that if the current pace of Russian exports continues, it would run out of its exportable surplus by November.
There is market speculation that if Russia imposes export restrictions, Ukraine will follow.
• Wheat is also supported by declining projections for the coming year’s wheat crop in Argentina. The government there forecasts wheat area will fall to 9.14 million acres, down from 9.44 million projected last month. That would be down 20 percent from
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:34 am
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Early canola yields low in Manitoba
Posted Aug. 10th, 2012 by Robert Arnason
BRANDON, Man. — Early reports suggest canola yields could be below average in Manitoba this year.
In its weekly crop report, Manitoba Agriculture noted that early canola yields were 20 to 35 bushels per acre, but reports from a grain terminal northwest of Winnipeg indicated that many growers were seeing yields closer to 20 bu. per acre.
However, Anastasia Kubinec, an oilseed specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, said yields from the earliest seeded crops might not reflect the bigger picture in the province.
“Some of those early planted fields that they’re getting yields off now, they were exposed to heavy flea beetle pressure, root rot, potential wind damage and went through that cold spell (early in the spring),” Kubinec said.
“The (plants) may have used some of their energy to get through that (stress).”
Only a fraction of Manitoba growers had combined their canola by the second weekend in August.
Most growers were planning to begin harvest in the middle of the month or later, and many producers still don’t know if a record setting heat wave in July severely cut into their yield.
Environment Canada says last month was one of the hottest Julys on record in eastern Manitoba. The average daytime high in Winnipeg was 29.3 C for the month.
Clayton Harder, who farms west of Winnipeg, isn’t sure if he has an average, good or below average canola crop.
“It looks pretty good. There’s definitely some very heavy spots,” he said in the second week of August.
“But to be honest, I don’t remember such an intense heat blast during the flowering period.”
Harder is holding out hope for his canola because he seeded in late April, so the bulk of the blooming occurred before the scalding weather.
“I’m optimistic there will be a decent crop.”
Kubinec said it’s too early to make general statements about canola yields in Manitoba and expects yields will be highly variable. Much will depend on whether growers received a timely rain during the heat wave and the condition of the crop in late June.
“I have seen fields … it looks like a really, really good crop. Potentially over 45 bu. per acre. Then I’ve also walked into fields where if the guy gets 25 (bu.) he’s going to be lucky,” she said.
“If you had a really good crop going into that hot spell, it seemed to withstand it a lot better than the thinner crops.”
She said it’s possible later seeded crops withstood the heat, as long as the crop canopy
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:43 am
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Dryness threatens upbeat hopes for Aussie canola
Dry weather may mean Australia’s canola harvest falls well short of estimates of up to a record 4m tonnes, dealing a further blow to hopes for world supplies of the oilseed.
The Australian Oilseeds Federation, while concurring with forecasts from other analysts of a rise in Australian sowings of the rapeseed variant this year, warned that "dry conditions experienced in much of the eastern states" was "threatening the establishment of crops".
The decline in rainfall, which follows a warning of the impact of dryness on Western Australia, meant the harvest would come in at 2.97m tonnes, the federation said, in its first estimate for the crop.
Besides implying a 6.9% decline year on year, the forecast is significantly more gloomy than estimates from other analysts.
‘Yield volatility is high’
The US Department of Agriculture on Friday forecast Australia’s canola output in 2012-13 at a record 3.25m tonnes, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia has pegged the harvest at 3.2m tonnes.
Earlier this week, Rabobank, taking a more sanguine view of the weather, said that "at the high end of expectations, Australia could reach a 4m-tonne crop, double the size of the harvest only three years ago".
"Yield volatility is high in Australia due to weather," the bank said.
"Yet given the strong profit incentives and benign weather to date, we do not see significant downside risk to production."
The Australian Oilseeds Federation said its more downbeat view was based on observations of "deficient rainfall" in New South Wales, the second-biggest canola growing state, where the upper soil profile has been left dry.
"Crops planted into drying soil have led to patchy emergence."
"The situation in Victoria is similar to that of New South Wales," the group said, adding that in parts of South Australia, crops are "in need of rain to either trigger germination or ensure effective establishment."
Conditions in Western Australia were "more typical" of average, thanks to rains in the Esperance area in March, the federation said, contrasting with comments from state farm officials earlier this month.
The prospect for Australia’s harvest is viewed has having a significant influence on the world market, given the prospect of another disappointing harvest in the European Union, the top rapeseed producer and consumer, boosting its reliance on imports.
Oil World on Tuesday trimmed its estimate for the EU rapeseed harvest by 100,000 tonnes to 18.10m tonnes, citing dry autumn sowing weather and damage from a February frost.
The weak harvest "will raise EU import requirements of rapeseed and canola", the German-based consultancy said.
However, Ukraine, which has historically met much of the EU’s import needs, is itself expecting a weak rapeseed crop, which Oil World forecast falling by one-third to 950,000 tonnes.
"Ukrainian exports will decline sharply owing to the very small crop next season," the group said.
"This will raise the global dependence on Canadian and Australian rapeseed and canola export supplies, and will keep prices of rapeseed and canola well supported."
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed May 16, 2012 11:51 am
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Posted May. 3rd, 2012 by Ed White
Canola will stretch as far as the eye can see as farmers cash in on high prices. | File photo.Farmers are bullish about almost every crop, Statistics Canada’s March seeding intentions report shows.
However, it also offers more evidence of the long-term trend of farmers embracing canola and avoiding spring wheat. Each year farmers plan to grow more canola than the previous year, but they generally plan to grow less spring wheat.
This year, prairie farmers intend to seed 20.37 million acres of canola and 17.18 million acres of spring wheat.
That is a new record for canola acreage, well above last year’s 19.22 million acre intention.
However, it is the third lowest intended acreage for wheat in a decade, only marginally above 2007 and 600,000 acres more than 2008?s 16.58 million acres.
In 2003, farmers intended to plant almost 19 million acres of wheat and 10.94 million acres of canola. Intended canola acreage is now almost double what it was and well above the spring wheat total, capping a total role reversal.
Another long-term trend is for farmers to increase their actual planted acreage of canola from the March seeding intentions report but to decrease spring wheat acreage.
Many analysts expect to see that happen again this year.
“Every grower out there is trying to figure out a way to sneak in another 60, 80 or 100 acres more canola,” said Ken Ball, a broker with Union Securities in Winnipeg.
There is still room for canola acreage to grow. Some analysts had predicted farmers would intend to plant 22 million acres of canola this year, with a couple guessing 23 million acres.
The canola number in the planting intentions report, although a record, is actually bullish for canola because it is at the low end of expectations.
However, spring wheat acres could be vulnerable to any weather problems. Analysts say the higher spring wheat acres, as well as relatively big acres for most other crops, are a product of the collapse of summerfallow acres.
Statistics Canada predicts farmers will leave less than four million acres idle after leaving 12.4 million fallow in last year’s wet growing season and 10.7 million in similarly wet 2010.
Analysts aren’t surprised that in-tended summerfallow acreage would drop, but virtually all analysts were surprised by the tiny number.
“It adds two million more acres into the mix that I wasn’t expecting,” said Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodity Research, who thought six million was a more likely number.
“It allows all of the crops to expand their acres.”
Jon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions was also surprised by the summerfallow number, which is boosting crop acreage numbers.
“The summerfallow was so incredibly low, by far a record low. What that does is add acres to everything else,” said Driedger.
However, with farmers keen to plant canola above everything else, they will likely keep or increase their canola acres if weather problems occur but cut crops such as wheat and oats that are less financially attractive.
Winnipeg analyst Marlene Boersch said she thinks cereal grains will likely suffer most if seeding problems occur.
“It’s probably a little overstated,” said Boersch about the cereal grain acreages.
Another phenomenon likely to cut former CWB grain acreage is the slow development of forward sales contracts with grain companies, Boersh said. With farmers able to lock in profitable prices with some crops but generally not with spring wheat and durum, they might favour the crops that they can hedge.
However, if everything goes into the ground as farmers intended when they were surveyed by StatsCan, and there is good weather, then farmers might discover how far they can push the grain handling system, Boersch said.
“If the total acreage really is that high, we probably will have some problems with our export capabilities because we rarely do more than 30 million tonnes,” said Boersch.
“That could, in a good year, cause some problems.”
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat May 05, 2012 9:00 pm
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