Canada grain quality hurt by frost and snow

Overall production of most grain in Canada is up in 2016-17 despite delays in harvest for some parts of the prairies due to rain, frost and snow, which negatively impacted quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in a Jan. 26 report. Grain prices for 2016-17 are expected to trend lower than in the previous year. Total production of Canadian wheat, barley, corn and oats is expected to reach 56.8 million tonnes in 2016-17, up 7.6% from 52.8 million tonnes in 2015-16.
Canada’s wheat production in 2016-17 was up 15% from 2015-16 at 31.7 million tonnes as stronger yields made up for a 7% drop in harvested area, the report said. Fewer wheat exports are expected in 2016-17 as quality in the major wheat producing provinces of Western Canada was hurt by frost, snow and excess rain delaying the fall harvest.  A 5% drop in exports is expected due to both smaller carry-in stocks from 2015-16 and quality issues as a result of the difficult 2016-17 harvest. However, the report is also forecasting fewer imports of wheat in 2016-17 due to higher production coupled with fewer export volumes.
The country’s corn production is forecast slightly lower in 2016-17 at 13.2 million tonnes, down less than 3% from 13.6 million tonnes a year earlier. The FAS said it foresees feed, residual, food, seed and industrial consumption will be 4% higher than in 2016-17 due to higher estimated beginning stocks than those seen in 2015-16. Therefore, 24% fewer imports of corn needed in 2016-17 than the year before as a result of higher carry-in at the beginning of 2016-17. Despite large stores of corn, the FAS forecasts a 22% drop in exports from 2015-16 due to global price competition in 2016-17.
Barley production is forecast to increase 7% to 8.78 million tonnes due to higher yields even though area harvested in 2016-17 is expected to be down 6% from last year, the FAS said.  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFFC) reported that the average Canadian barley yield in 2016-17 was 3.95 tonnes per hectare, surpassing the previous record of 3.86 tonnes per hectare in 2013. As a result of increased domestic production, the FAS does not expect to see high import volumes of barley in 2016-17. The FAS forecasts total year exports of Canadian barley in 2016-17 will be up 40% with from 2015- 16.

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