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Stocks of principal field crops, July 31, 2020

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Released: 2020-09-04

As of July 31, Canada's total stocks of barley and oats were up from the same date a year earlier, while stocks of wheat, canola, dry peas and lentils were down.

The results of Statistics Canada's triannual supply and disposition exercise, which incorporates survey data and administrative data to produce estimates of stocks of principal field crops, indicate that stocks of crops such as dry peas and lentils fell largely because of higher exports. Rail disruptions slowed the movement of grain across Canada early in the year, potentially delaying exports. However, reduced demand for petroleum and consumer goods as a result of the pandemic freed capacity to move more grain, and record amounts were shipped in the late spring and summer.


Total stocks of wheat declined 14.6% year over year to 5.0 million tonnes as of July 31. This decrease was attributable to a drop in on-farm stocks of 35.0% to 1.7 million tonnes. Over the same period, commercial stocks increased 2.1% to 3.3 million tonnes. The decline in total stocks was largely driven by a 63.2% year-over-year decrease in durum wheat stocks to 659 800 tonnes. This can be explained by higher exports (+18.3%), the result of high global demand and lower world production in 2019.

Deliveries of wheat rose 3.9% year over year to a record-high 29.7 million tonnes as of July 31, contributing to the decrease in on-farm stocks. Exports increased 1.3% to 24.6 million tonnes, driven by strong global demand. Use of wheat for animal feed rose 0.6% to 4.4 million tonnes.


Total stocks of canola declined by over one-third (-34.3%) year over year to 2.7 million tonnes as of July 31. This decrease was the result of lower on-farm stocks, which fell 51.3% to 1.4 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 7.6% to 1.3 million tonnes.

On-farm stocks declined as off-farm deliveries rose 10.8% to 20.7 million tonnes. Deliveries were partially driven by high domestic demand as Canada's canola crushing hit a record-high 10.1 million tonnes in 2020. This record canola crush was the result of high global demand for vegetable oils, combined with high canola supply and good crushing margins.

Despite ongoing tariffs on canola exports to China, one of Canada's largest export markets, total exports rose 10.5% year over year to 10.2 million tonnes. Exports increased to a number of countries, including several in the European Union, as well as the United Arab Emirates.

Barley and oats

Barley stocks rose 10.9% year over year to 956 500 tonnes as of July 31. This increase was attributable to higher on-farm stocks (+8.2% to 688 000 tonnes) and commercial stocks (+18.5% to 268 500). The growth in barley stocks was also largely attributable to increased production last year. Feed barley use rose 29.2% year over year to 6.9 million tonnes as of July 31, the highest level since 2010. Exports remained relatively flat at 3.0 million tonnes.

Total stocks of oats were up 7.3% year over year to 425 600 tonnes as of July 31. This increase was the result of higher commercial stocks, which more than doubled (+109.9%) to 218 100 tonnes, while on-farm stocks decreased 29.0% to 207 500 tonnes.

Domestically, oats used for food (+13.2%) and animal feed (+16.2%) increased year over year as of July 31. In addition, exports of oats rose 7.6% to 2.7 million tonnes. Despite these increases, total stocks were still higher as of July 31 than the same date a year earlier, because of high total supply following increased production in 2019.

Dry peas and lentils

Total stocks of dry peas declined 25.0% year over year to 234 100 tonnes as of July 31. Both on-farm stocks (-26.7% to 96 000 tonnes) and commercial stocks (-24.3% to 137 200 tonnes) were down. Despite higher year-over-year opening supplies and lower domestic use, total stocks fell as a result of higher exports. Exports rose 17.2% to 3.8 million tonnes. This increase in exports was led by higher demand from China, which imported approximately 75% more dry peas year over year.

Stocks of lentils totalled 61 000 tonnes as of July 31, down 91.5% from the same date a year earlier. Higher exports (+33.3%) drove the decrease in total stocks. Exports to three of Canada's largest markets—India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates—all rose year over year.

  Note to readers

Data on stocks of principal field crops held on farms in 2020 came from the June Field Crop Survey of about 24,500 Canadian farmers conducted from May 14 to June 11, 2020. Data on stocks were collected earlier than usual as the July Field Crop Survey was not collected directly from respondents this year to provide relief to farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Final estimates of on-farm stocks are produced as part of a supply and disposition exercise that includes data related to commercial stocks. The June 2020 Field Crop Survey also asked two questions about permanent on-farm grain storage capacity and the quantity of grain stored on farms using temporary storage methods. These data are available upon request.

Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission. Data on commercial stocks of special crops originate from a survey of handlers and agents of special crops.

National supply-disposition tables for the major grains and special crops are published jointly with the current release on stocks levels and are available as online data tables 32-10-0013-01 and 32-10-0015-01.

Stock data are subject to revision during the two years following their initial publication.

Stock data on corn for grain and soybeans as of August 31 will be available on October 6, 2020, which corresponds to the end of the crop-year cycle for these two crops.

Readers are invited to visit the Agriculture and food statistics portal for more data related to agriculture and food published by Statistics Canada.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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