Lower Grain Stocks, Higher Pulses

OTTAWA - May 11/18 - SNS -- Stocks of grains on hand in Canada on March 31 were down from last year, but inventories of pulses were up, according to Statistics Canada.

Total wheat stocks were at 16.4 million metric tons (MT) as of March 31, 2018, down 3.9% from the same day a year earlier. This decrease was the result of lower stock levels being held on farms, down 1.3% to 12.5 million MT, as well as an 11.3% decrease in commercial stocks to 3.9 million MT. Farm stock levels in Saskatchewan decreased by 5.6% to 5.7 million MT, while farm stocks in Alberta increased 4.9% to 4.4 million MT.

Corn for grain stocks were up 4.3% from the same date a year earlier to 8.7 million MT. Commercial stocks were down 25.5% to 2.1 million MT, while farm stocks were up 19.1% to 6.7 million MT. Farm stocks in Ontario increased 34.1% to 3.7 million MT.

Total barley stocks decreased 25.5% to 3.4 million MT as of March 31, after a 10.7% production decline in 2017. Farm stocks decreased 28.3% compared with the same day a year earlier to 3.0 million MT. However, commercial stock levels increased 12.0% to 355 000 MT.

Total oat stocks increased 19.8% to 2.1 million MT compared with March 31, 2017. Both on-farm stocks (+21.8%) and commercial stocks (+4.9%) contributed to the overall increase. These stock levels follow a 15.3% rise in oat production in 2017 over 2016.


Soybean stocks increased 38.7% to 2.6 million MT as of March 31, likely the result of record production of 7.7 million MT in 2017. On-farm stocks were up 58.1% to 1.5 million MT. Manitoba was the main driver, as on-farm stocks in the province increased by 150.0% to 700 000 MT. Meanwhile, commercial stocks increased by 18.3% to 1.1 million MT.

As of March 31, total canola stocks were up 14.4% from the same day a year earlier to 9.1 million MT. This increase resulted from a 18.2% rise in on-farm stocks to 7.5 million MT. On-farm stocks in Saskatchewan were up 15.3% to 3.8 million MT, while they increased 22.7% in Alberta to 2.7 million MT. Commercial stocks, however, edged down 0.8% to 1.6 million MT.


Total stocks for lentils increased 34.8% from March 31, 2017, to 1.5 million MT, mainly driven by on-farm stock levels that rose 41.1% to 1.4 million MT. Meanwhile, stocks of dry peas rose 12.7% to 1.9 million MT. These increases continue a pattern seen for the commodities in the last stock report taken on December 31, 2017.

The current stock increases as of March 31, 2018, could be attributable to a rise in import tariffs introduced by India. Exports of both dry peas and lentils on March 31, 2018, are down substantially from the same date last year, with dry pea exports declining 40.7% to 1.8 million MT, and lentil exports down 49.6% to 1.0 million MT.

Data Sources

The first iteration of the 2018 Field Crop Survey (March) is a survey of stocks of principal field crops conducted from March 2 to 29, 2018. Farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds and special crops in on-farm storage. The March, July and December editions of this survey also have two questions pertaining to permanent on-farm storage capacity and the percentage of grain stored on farm using temporary storage methods. Data are available upon request.

Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission. Data on commercial stocks of special crops originate from a survey of handlers and agents of special crops. Data on commercial stocks of corn and soybeans are based on data from Statistics Canada's survey of grain elevators in Eastern Canada.