Canadian wheat growers plan to decrease seeding by 4.8%

Added on: 1 May, 2014

Wheat growers in Canada, the world’s biggest exporter after the US, are planning to decrease seeding by 4.8% this year and also reduce canola planting, a government report showed.

 

Farmers may sow 24.8m acres of the grain, down from 26m a year earlier, Statistics Canada said.

The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 24.3m acres. Canola seeding may fall 0.7% to 19.8m acres. That compares with 20.75m acres forecast by analysts.

Seeding is declining after record crops last year spurred price declines and placed unprecedented pressure on rail lines that handle 95% of Canada’s output.

The backlog left as much as C$20bn (€13bn) of crops stuck on prairie farms, and prompted the government to order railways to increase grain shipments or face penalties of as much as €65,000 per day.

Statistics Canada said it interviewed about 11,500 farmers between March 24 and March 31 about their planting intentions. Net returns for canola are higher than wheat and farmers historically underestimate how much they will plant early in the season, David Reimann, a market analyst with Cargill Limited in Winnipeg, said.

“I would not be surprised if we saw it at least marginally larger by the time we’re all said and done,” he said.

Spring-wheat planting may fall 5.6% to 18m acres, while durum seeding is forecast to drop 2.6% and winter wheat will decline 2.7%, the report showed. Barley acreage is forecast to drop 11%, while soybean planting may increase 16% to a record 5.26m acres.

Delays moving last season’s crop for export are discouraging farmers from planting more, and transportation and delivery options “will be critical factors” in seeding decisions, the US Department of Agriculture said in an April 2 report.

Jen Skerritt Irish Examiner © 2014