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Barley Stocks Record Low; Oat Stocks Higher

Canadian barley stocks as of July 31 hit a new record low, although were still higher than expected, while oat stocks increased.

A Statistics Canada grain stocks report on Wednesday pegged national barley stockpiles as of the end of the 2020-21 marketing year at 711,100 tonnes, down 25.7% from the previous year and taking out the previous low of 863,000 tonnes established in July 2019. However, today’s StatsCan estimate still easily topped Agriculture Canada’s August supply-demand forecast, which put 2020-21 barley ending stocks at just 500,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, oat stocks as of July 31 were reported at 658,500 tonnes, an increase of 54.7% from last year and also above last month’s Ag Canada projection of 350,000 tonnes.

The year-over-year decrease in barley stocks was attributable to both lower on-farm (-19.9% to 551,300 tonnes) and commercial (-40.5% to 159,800 tonnes) stocks.

Deliveries of barley off-farm increased 17.4% to 5.1 million tonnes, contributing to the decrease in on-farm stocks. Barley exports were up 54.8% on the year to 4.6 million tonnes, with more than 90% destined for China. On the other hand, barley used for feed fell 10.6% year over year to 6.1 million tonnes as of July 31.

Implied barley use for the March 31 – July 31 2021 period was 2.295 million tonnes, down from 2.574 million during the same period last year.

Alberta on-farm stocks as of July 31 dropped to 302,000 tonnes from 370,000 a year earlier, while Saskatchewan farm stocks fell to 147,000 tonnes from 212,000. Manitoba on-farm barley stocks were unchanged on the year at 73,000 tonnes.

The larger July 31 oat stocks estimate was driven by higher commercial (+41.3% to 307,900 tonnes) and on-farm (+68.8% to 350,600 tonnes) supplies.

Implied oat use for the March 31 – July 31, 2021 period amounted to 1.185 million tonnes, down from 1.42 million the previous year. However, oat exports for 2020-21 were still up 12.2% to 2.9 million tonnes, surpassing 2008 as the highest year on record.

On-farm oat stocks increased in all three Prairie provinces compared to a year earlier. Saskatchewan stocks increased to 184,000 tonnes from 83,000, Alberta stocks climbed to 103,000 tonnes from 72,000 and Manitoba stocks inches up to 40,000 tonnes from 35,000.

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