Severe drought in Western Canada during the summer of 2021 has played a major part in reducing the stocks for Canada’s principal field crops at the end of the 2021-22 marketing year, according to Statistics Canada.

Canada’s central data agency released a report Wednesday presenting total ending stocks for the country’s major crops as of July 31, the end of the marketing year.

The report attributed the reduction across most crops due to lower supplies for the 2021-22 crop year, which was brought on by hot and dry growing conditions curtailing crop production in 2021. The lower amounts of stocks also resulted in less grain movement and fewer exports.

Canola was one of two crops, along with oats, to have its supply reduced by more than half. Ending stocks for the Canadian oilseed was down 50.7 per cent compared to July 2021 to 874,600 tonnes, the lowest July level since 2013. On-farm stocks were cut by 77.4 per cent to 242,000 tonnes, while commercial stocks had a 10.1 per cent decline to 632,600 tonnes. Deliveries and domestic disappearance declined, as well, while exports fell by 50.3 per cent to 5.3 million tonnes, the lowest July amount since 2005.

“Canola stocks are below what we would call ‘pipeline levels,’” MarketsFarm analyst Bruce Burnett said. “It does make sense because there’s a very big slowdown in the weekly exports reported by (the Canadian Grain Commission) for the past couple of months… Exporters were having trouble putting together cargoes due to the lack of stocks.”

Total wheat stocks as of July 31 dropped 38.3 per cent from last year to 3.671 million tonnes, the lowest July amount since before 1980. Commercial stocks declined 23.3 per cent to 2.7 million tonnes, while on-farm stocks fell 60.1 per cent to 970,100 tonnes. Meanwhile, durum stocks were down 30.5 per cent to 565,300 tonnes. Wheat deliveries fell 33.5 per cent to 21.1 million tonnes, while exports tumbled 42.5 per cent to 15.1 million tonnes.

“Basically, it’s a very tight stock level for wheat. But durum stocks are very tight for durum. Durum stocks when they are under a million tonnes are generally tight,” Burnett said.

Ending stocks for barley also extremely tightened, falling to their lowest level on record at 504,100 tonnes, 29.1 per cent less than in July 2021. While on-farm stocks were down 48.3 per cent to 285,000 tonnes, commercial stocks rose 37.1 per cent to 219,100 tonnes. Exports dropped 39.1 per cent to 2.6 million tonnes, while barley used for feed fell 33.1 per cent to a record-low 4.3 million tonnes.

“It’s a very, very small barley carryout,” Burnett said. “But the barley harvest is more advanced than the other crops, so those supplies have been replenished right now.”

Oat ending stocks declined more than any other principal crop, 51.6 per cent from last year at 317,500 tonnes. Commercial stocks dropped 44.6 per cent to 170,700 tonnes, while on-farm stocks fell 57.9 per cent to 146,800 tonnes. Oat exports were down 22.5 per cent to 2.3 million tonnes.

Dry field pea stocks fell 31.1 per cent to 385,100 tonnes with decreases in on-farm and commercial stocks as well as exports. Meanwhile, lentils totalled 224,000 tonnes for a 48.9 per cent year-by-year decline as on-farm stocks and exports decreased, along with a rise in commercial stocks. July 2022 stocks for field peas and lentils are both slightly higher than in July 2020.

Flaxseed and rye were the exceptions as ending stocks for both crops were greater compared to last year. Flaxseed stocks rose 44.1 per cent to 85,000 tonnes, while rye stocks increased 19.8 per cent to 109,000 tonnes.

— Adam Peleshaty reports for MarketsFarm from Stonewall, Man.