Western drought expected to hinder durum wheat production
September 12, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
The latest Sask Wheat crop report indicates that conditions remain mixed for both winter and spring crops in Canada with ongoing summer drought concerns in the western Prairies expected to significantly hamper durum wheat production.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture says 50 per cent of the province’s spring wheat is in the bins while 36 per cent of Alberta spring wheat has been harvested. The yield assessment for Saskatchewan wheat was at 42 bu/acre, while we had been using 43 bu/acre. The Alberta yield assessment was at only 39.7 bu/ac.
Statistics Canada shows 3.6 million mt for all wheat and 3.19 million mt for wheat excluding durum, which is lower than any of the trade’s pre-report estimates. For the wheat excluding durum, 750k mt were in farmers’ hands and 2.4 million mt in commercial hands. For comparison, the 2022 ending stocks were at 3.1 million mt.
StatsCan published its July export numbers, indicating Canada exported 1.7 million mt of wheat, with 323k mt going to China, 308k mt to Indonesia and 159k mt to Peru. Japan took another 129k mt in July, the USA 119k mt and Bangladesh 114k mt. Total 2022/2023 wheat exports (excluding durum) added to 20.4 million mt (12 million mt the previous year).
Weekly Canadian wheat exports for week five were at 410k mt, advancing YTD wheat exports to 1.7 million mt, well above last year’s. Deliveries into the system were also strong at 883k mt.
According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, 73 per cent of the province’s durum has been harvested, while Alberta showed 79 per cent of durum harvested.
The Saskatchewan Agriculture yield assessment for durum came in at a low 23 bu/acre average, with the worst yields in the southwest (17 bu/ac). Sask Wheat is using a somewhat higher 25.3 bu/ac average for Saskatchewan. The verdict on overall quality is yet to be determined.
StatsCan came out with its July 31 stock numbers last Friday. For durum, stocks were at a relatively small 396k mt (well below the pre-report trade estimates), with 125k mt left on farms and 271k mt in commercial hands. In comparison, last year’s stocks amounted to 569k mt.
The StatsCan July export numbers for durum listed 170k mt of durum exports for the month, with 52k mt going to Morocco, 22.6k mt to Algeria, 9,700 mt to Japan and 9,545 to Belgium. Total 2022/2023 durum exports added to a very decent 5.03 million mt (2.7 million mt in 2021/2022).
Durum exports for week five were at 50k mt, for a YTD total of 197k mt, compared to 145k mt last YTD. Producer deliveries are increasing as harvest progresses.