Little Change Expected in 2016 Oat, Barley Planted Area
Agriculture Canada is not projecting any huge swings in new-crop Canadian oat and barley seeded area, even though malt barley currently pencils out much better than competing crops.
The government’s first supply-demand estimates for the new-crop marketing year, released late Monday afternoon, pegged 2016 nationwide barley seeded area at 6.67 million acres, up a modest 2% from a year earlier. Oat seeded area is seen at 3.15 million acres, a 6% decline from 2015.
For barley, Ag Canada is projecting new-crop production at 8.4 million tonnes, up from 8.22 million this past year due to the higher seeded area and a forecast for average yields after last year’s overly dry weather across large portions of the Prairies.
With the slightly higher production and larger in carry- in stocks, the total new-crop barley supply is projected to increase by 9% to 10.4 million tonnes. On the demand side, domestic use is forecast to increase by 3% due mainly to slightly higher feed use in cattle and hog production. Exports are forecast to increase by a much sharper 18% due to the lower world supply and a return to normal trade patterns, Ag Canada said.
Despite higher total use and exports, 2016-17 barley ending stocks are forecast to increase by 18% to 2.3 million tonnes, above the previous five and 10-year averages.
In its accompanying commentary, Ag Canada acknowledged its forecast for lower new-crop feed barley prices, but noted 2016-17 contract prices for malt barley are near last year’s levels. “For Canadian producers, due to the general price decline in many competing crops, malt barley has become one of top profit-per-(acre) crop choices for 2016.”
With a similar rebound in average yields to offset the smaller planted area, Canadian oat production for 2016 is seen at 3.4 million tonnes, down only 1% from the previous year. However, the total oat supply is still forecast to increase, climbing 3% to 4.24 million tonnes, thanks to heavier carry-in stocks. Domestic oat demand and exports are projected to increase modestly to blunt the larger supply, leaving 2016-17 oat ending stocks steady from 2015-16 at 850,000 tonnes.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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