September 11, 2008 - Ottawa - Lower production levels and higher exports have dropped stocks of durum wheat below a million tonnes, a 31.7 percent decline from the same date in 2007, and a low point for the pasta wheat since the late 1980s.
September 11, 2008 By CEP News
September 10, 2008
OTTAWA -Lower production levels and steady export demand have drawn down total stocks of durum wheat to levels not seen since the late 1980s, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.
"(As of July 31, 2008) total stocks of durum fell to 842,000 metric tonnes, down 31.7 percent from the same date in 2007 and total stocks of wheat excluding durum fell 28.6 percent to 4.0 million tonnes," the statistical agency reported.
Decreases in both wheat types were seen in the western provinces and international positions, the agency said. Lower production and steady export demand for durum has drawn down durum stocks, while stocks of wheat excluding durum have fallen due to production declines.
Durum wheat stocks held on farms were down 83.3 percent from 300,000 tonnes in July 2007 to 50,000 tonnes, while commercial stocks fell 15.1 percent to 792,000 tonnes.
Durum wheat is used in pasta, as well as other wheat varieties used for bread and pastry.
Stocks of wheat excluding durum held on farms as of July 31, 2008 fell 60.9 percent from its level in July 2007 to 656,000 tonnes, while stocks in commercial positions were down 14.7 percent to 3.3 million tonnes. The previous five-year average was 3.5 million tonnes, Statistics Canada noted.
The statistical agency said the decline in stocks of wheat excluding durum was attributable to a drop in production in 2007, "following the lowest spring wheat seeded area in over 30 years."