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The Daily

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As of July 31, 2007

Except for flaxseed, total commercial and on-farm stocks of major and special crops fell from the generally robust levels reported as of July 31, 2006, according to a survey of Canadian grain farmers and commercial grain holders.

In the Prairie Provinces, on-farm stocks of most major crops as of July 31, 2007, were down to levels below their five-year averages. Farm stocks of canola and flaxseed fell, but remained above the five-year average.

Farm stocks of corn in Eastern Canada remained high, above the five-year average. Stocks of soybeans declined from the record levels reported in July 2006.

Wheat stocks down in wake of export demand

Total stocks of wheat, which include on-farm and commercial stocks, were estimated at 6.8 million tonnes, a decrease of 29.2% or 2.8 million tonnes from the same period in 2006. Lower wheat stock levels were the result of strong above-average export demand, brought on by a tight world supply-and-demand situation.

On-farm Prairie inventories of wheat were down 54.8% from July 2006 to 1.9 million tonnes. The five-year average is 2.3 million tonnes. Farmers reported decreases in all three Prairie Provinces. The largest decrease, 1.7 million tonnes, occurred in Saskatchewan, where stocks hit 880,000 tonnes.

Total stocks of durum wheat amounted to 1.2 million tonnes, down a sharp 62.2% from the record set in July 2006. The five-year average for July is 2.1 million tonnes. Export demand for durum wheat has increased considerably, the result of strong global requirements after several years of oversupply.

Durum producers in Saskatchewan and Alberta reported they held much less durum on their farms in 2007. On-farm stocks in Saskatchewan were down 83.0% to 230,000 tonnes, while Alberta farmers reported a similar decline of 75.9% to an estimated 70,000 tonnes. Commercial stocks also declined by 42.3% to 932,000 tonnes.

Feed grain stocks fall below the five-year average

Total stocks of barley on July 31 tumbled 54.6% to 1.5 million tonnes, a level well below the five-year average of 2.4 million tonnes. Generally higher world prices, brought on by demand for corn for the ethanol industry and a decline in Canadian barley production in 2006, were responsible for the drop.

Note to readers

The July Farm Survey of 17,300 farm operators was conducted from July 27 to August 5. Farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds and special crops in on-farm storage.

Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission. Commercial stocks of corn and soybeans are estimated by a Statistics Canada sample of grain elevators in Eastern Canada. Data on commercial stocks of special crops originate from a survey of handlers and agents of special crops.

Supply-demand tables containing stock data are available in CANSIM by subscription (22F0002XFB) or in the July issue of the publication Cereals and Oilseeds Review (22-007-XIB), which will soon be available.

Commercial and on-farm stocks on August 31 of corn and soybeans will be published in the September "Estimate of production of principal field crops" on October 4.

Prairie on-farm stocks also fell, with declines ranging from 34.6% in Manitoba to 73.1% in Saskatchewan, where stocks had hit record highs as of July 2006.

Total stocks of oats fell 36.2% to 556,000 tonnes. On-farm stocks fell in all three Prairie Provinces to levels well below the five-year average, the result of strong export demand.

Total stocks of field peas dropped 235,000 tonnes to 205,000 tonnes, well below the five-year average of 365,000 tonnes.

Commercial and on-farm stocks of field peas fell to levels below the corresponding five-year average. Commercial stocks tumbled 39.3% to 85,000 tonnes, and Prairie on-farm stocks fell 60.0% to 120,000 tonnes. Lower crop production in 2006, combined with increased domestic feeding, were responsible.

Canola stocks off slightly

Total stocks of canola amounted to an estimated 1.8 million tonnes, off 9.3% from 2006, but still well above the five-year average of 1.3 million tonnes. Commercial stocks were up 247,000 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes.

However, significant declines were reported for on-farm stocks in all three Prairie Provinces, ranging from 28.6% in Alberta to 46.7% in Saskatchewan.

Continued steady exports, along with a strong domestic crush and a minor reduction in the 2006 harvest, all combined to produce the stock decrease.

Flaxseed stocks inch up

Total stocks of flaxseed inched up 37,000 tonnes to 373,000 tonnes, the highest level since 2000.

An increase in commercial stocks was tempered by declines in on-farm stocks, which declined 20.0% but remained at a level more than twice the five-year average. In spite of continued robust exports, stocks of flaxseed remained high after two years of strong production.

In Saskatchewan, where most Canadian flaxseed is grown, on-farm stocks fell 65,000 tonnes from the record high in 2006 to 130,000 tonnes. The five-year average level is 75,000 tonnes.

Available on CANSIM: tables 001-0040 to 001-0042.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 3401, 3403, 3443, 3464 and 3476.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: Stocks of Canadian Grain at July 31, 2007, Vol. 86, no. 6 (22-002-XIE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact David Burroughs (613-951-5138; or Dave Roeske (613-951-0572;, Agriculture Division.

Tables. Table(s).