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Canadian Soybean Acres to See Steeper Rise versus Corn

The area planted to both crops is expected to increase compared to a year earlier, but Agriculture Canada has soybean acres rising more than corn in 2022.

In its first supply-demand estimates for the upcoming 2022-23 marketing year on Friday, Ag Canada pegged new-crop nationwide corn area at 3.5 million acres, up a minor 0.5% on the year. On the other hand, soybean area in 2022 is seen climbing 7% to 5.68 million acres, potentially the highest since 5.71 million acres were seeded in 2019.

High prices should help boost soybean acres, Ag Canada said, suggesting that planted area this year might have been even higher if not for concerns over dry soil conditions in portions of Western Canada. Despite the expected small increase in 2022 corn acres, planted area would still be 2% lower than the previous five-year average.

With the uptick in seeded area and assuming five-year average yields, new-crop national soybean production is forecast by Ag Canada at 6.6 million tonnes, versus 6.3 million in 2021-22 and 6.4 million in 2020-21. Exports are projected to increase by 7% to 4.5 million tonnes, with the domestic crush forecast up slightly to 1.9 million tonnes compared to last year.

However, the 2022-23 season average soybean price is forecast down $40/tonne ($1.09/bu) from 2021-22 at $550 ($14.97/bu) on an expected easing of US prices and a stable Canadian-US dollar exchange rate.

Corn production is forecast to fall 3% to 13.6 million tonnes, as a return to more typical yields in Ontario and Quebec – after an excellent growing season in 2021 - more than offsets the slightly larger planted area. Total supply is projected to fall more sharply, down 7%, due to a one-third drop in US corn imports in the wake of an expected recovery in Prairie barley production following last year’s drought.

Based on a sharply lower US corn price forecast for 2022-23, the Chatham, ON corn price for 2022-23 is projected by Ag Canada at $250/tonne ($6.35/bu), 12% lower than that forecast for 2021-22.

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