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Canadian Canola Production Estimate Falls Even Lower

Thanks mainly to an even worse crop in Saskatchewan, expected 2021 Canadian canola production is spiraling even lower.

The latest model-based production estimates from Statistics Canada on Tuesday pegged the nationwide canola crop at a paltry 12.78 million tonnes. That is down from StatsCan’s August forecast of 14.74 million and is now more than one-third (-34.4%) below the previous year’s crop of 19.48 million. If accurate, it would be the smallest Canadian canola crop since 2010.

Heading into the report, most traders and analysts were expecting a canola estimate around 13.6 million tonnes. Canola futures were up more than $20/tonne immediately after the report’s release.

Today’s production estimates were derived using satellite technology based on conditions in August. Last month’s estimates reflected conditions in July.

All of the decline in the canola production estimate from last month and last year is due to a drought-reduced national average yield which is now estimated at 25.3 bu/acre. That compares to 29.2 bu in August and the 2020 average yield of 41.8 bu. It is a year-over-year decline of almost 40% and the lowest in a decade.

Projected 2021 canola harvested area was left unchanged from last month at 22.2 million acres, up more than 8% from last year. However, the impact of drought means a higher number of acres than usual have likely already been abandoned or cut for greenfeed, thus pushing actual production potential even lower. Final canola harvested area won’t be known until StatsCan releases the results of its November field crop survey on Dec. 3.

Canola output in the No. 1 production province of Saskatchewan is now forecast at 5.78 million tonnes, down from 7.37 million in August and more than 47% below a year earlier. If accurate, it would be the smallest Saskatchewan canola crop since 2010 when farmers in the province harvested 5.69 million tonnes. At 21.2 bu/acre, the average expected provincial yield compares to 27 bu last month and is only about half of the previous year (42.7 bu/acre).

As for Alberta, canola production is estimated at 4.31 million tonnes, down only marginally from the August estimate of 4.48 million although still more than 17% below a year earlier. At 28.7 bu/acre, the average expected yield in the province is down from 29.8 bu in August and 28.6% below 2020.

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