Weather reversal to cut Canadian durum sowings
The switch in rain extremes, from too little to too much, besetting Argentine soybeans is hampering crop hopes in parts of Canada too, leaving durum in particular at risk of failing to meet sowings hopes.
The Canadian Wheat Board warned that, with the North American durum sowing nearing completion, it appeared that "delays in Canada will likely cause some reduction in acreage from initial intentions".
The caution reflected a reversal from a water deficit in some major growing areas, notably in Saskatchewan, the top durum growing state, to flooding, particularly on low-lying areas, Bruce Burnett, the CWB’s director, weather and market analysis, said.
"While we were worried about dryness initially, it has turned in some areas too wet," Mr Burnett told Agrimoney.com.
The comments echo those on Thursday from the Buenos Aires grain exchange over late flooding of soybean crops, and come amid a debate among meteorologists over whether the La Nina period has really lapsed, and whether an El Nina is on the way.
Canada’s turn wet may in fact be a "persistent La Nina signal", Gail Martell at Martell Crop Projections said, noting the tendency for the weather pattern to bring excess moisture to the Canadian Prairies.
‘Undoubtedly lose some area’
While this presented a potential threat to all spring crops, durum, the type of hard wheat used to make pasta, was most at risk given the imminent closing of the sowing window.
Rain, and snow, had slowed sowings this week, after a bright start to the planting season, leaving more than 30% of crops still be planted in Saskatchewan.
And "with moisture expected this weekend, expected next week and next weekend, we will undoubtedly lose some [durum] area", estimating losses at some 100,000-200,000 hectares, he said.
The official estimate for Canadian sowings, of 2.064m hectares – up 27% on last year’s flood-affected levels – was also vulnerable to downgrade because it "came in quite aggressive", he added.
Durum prices had remained "largely unchanged" this month despite the threat to sowings in Canada, the top exporter of the grain, the CWB noted.
In Europe, prices have remained at E260 a tonne, data from Agritel show, missing out on a gain of more than 6% in prices of milling wheat, as measured by Paris’s benchmark November futures contract.
The flat market reflected the onset of harvesting in Europe, bringing fresh supplies onstream and so pressing on prices, for now, and making up for the losses to poor weather earlier in the season.
"Although crop losses in the Mediterranean basin are price supportive, harvest activity in the region is gaining momentum," the CWB said.
Durum, grown in southern European localities such as Andalusia in Spain, is one of the earliest grains reaped as the harvest moves north.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat May 26, 2012 2:09 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com