Situation report — March 2012
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Canadian Grains and Oilseeds production forecasted higher in 2012/13
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) publication Canada: Grains and Oilseeds Outlook, the total production of grains and oilseeds in Canada rose 5% in 2011/12 to nearly 66 million metric tonnes, but total supply decreased marginally because of lower carry-in stocks. Total exports are forecast to increase as slightly higher exports of wheat and oilseeds more-than offset lower exports of coarse grains. Total carry-out stocks are expected to decrease significantly to about 15% below the 5 year average. In general, prices for grains and oilseeds are expected to remain historically high, similar to 2010/11.
For 2012/13, total production of grains and oilseeds in Canada is forecast to increase by 6% to 70.3 million metric tonnes. Exports and total domestic use are forecast to increase slightly. Carry-out stocks are forecast to increase but remain below average. Prices are expected to decline, but remain historically high, under pressure from the strong Canadian dollar which is forecast to be near par with the US dollar. The main factors to watch are commodity prices, input costs, precipitation during the spring and the Canada-US exchange rate.
Pulses and Special Crops higher in 2011/12
For 2011/12, AAFC reports prices in Canada for pulses and special crops have averaged higher than 2010/11, with record prices for dry beans, chickpeas and sunflower seed. Total exports from Canada are forecast to decrease by 20%, largely due to the significant decrease in supply. Total domestic use is expected to be higher, particularly for dry peas and lentils. Carry-out stocks are forecast to decrease sharply for most crops with the exception of lentils, which are expected to rise.
For 2012/13, total area seeded to pulses and special crops in Canada is forecast to increase by 9% from 2011/12 to 2.6 million hectares. Total production is forecast to rise by 10% to 4.6 million metric tonnes. However, supply is expected to decline marginally due to lower carry-in stocks for most crops, particularly dry peas. Exports are expected to rise by 3% to 3.9 million metric tonnes, while domestic use is expected to decrease. Prices, averaged over all types, grades and markets are forecast to decrease for all crops, but still remain historically high.
USDA releases updated supply and demand estimates
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released updated world agriculture supply and demand estimates on March 9, 2012.
Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are nearly unchanged with lower China and Bangladesh beginning stocks offsetting higher production for Australia. Beginning stocks are lowered 0.9 million metric tonnes for China with an increase in food, seed and industrial use for 2010/11.
Global wheat trade is raised for 2011/12 with higher imports for a number of countries. The biggest increase is for Iran, up 0.7 million metric tonnes. Imports are raised 0.3 million metric tonnes each for Algeria, South Korea and Uzbekistan. The largest export increase is for the United States with smaller increases in Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan. Global exports are projected to be 129.6 million metric tonnes, just 0.5 million metric tonnes short of the 2008/09 record.
Global wheat consumption for 2011/12 is raised 3.2 million metric tonnes mostly on higher food, seed and industrial use in China and higher wheat feeding in Australia, Iran and South Korea.
Global coarse grains (corn, barley, oats and rye) supplies for 2011/12 are projected 1.5 million metric tonnes higher as a result of increased production of corn in Brazil and India.
Global course grain trade is raised due to increases in corn and barley. Corn imports are raised for EU-27, Ecuador and Peru while corn exports are raised for Brazil and India. Barley imports are raised for Iran and China and exports are raised for Australia.
Global coarse grains consumption for 2011/12 is raised 2.0 million metric tonnes mostly as a result of higher corn feeding in EU-27 and India. Ending stocks for 2011/12 are lowered slightly, with a 0.7 million metric tonne reduction in projected world corn stocks.
Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 404.3 million metric tonnes, down 6.1 million from last month. Foreign production, projected at 321.6 million metric tonnes, accounts for all of the change. Brazil soybean production is forecast at 62.1 million metric tonnes, down 3.2 million from last month due to lower projected yields resulting from hot, dry conditions in the southern part of the country. Argentina and Paraguay soybean production were also reduced due to continued warm dry weather.
Global oilseed trade for 2011/12 is projected at 98.3 million tons, down 1.9 million mainly reflecting reduced soybean trade. Lower soybean exports are forecast for Brazil and Paraguay. Soybean imports are reduced for China, EU-27, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. China soybean imports are reduced 0.5 million tons to 50 million. Global oilseed ending stocks are projected at 61.5 million tons, down 3.1 million from last month. Reduced soybean stocks in Brazil and Argentina account for most of the change.
Glencore to acquire Viterra
Glencore International plc announced on March 20, 2012 that they have signed an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Viterra Inc.
Glencore has entered into agreements with each of Agrium and Richardson International to sell certain assets of Viterra. Agrium will acquire the majority of Viterra's retail agri-products business including its interest in Canadian Fertilizer Limited. Richardson International will acquire 23% of Viterra's Canadian grain handling assets, certain agricentres and certain processing assets in North America.
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