Stocks of wheat, canola, barley, dry peas, oats and lentils were all down on March 31, 2022 compared with the same day a year earlier, a result largely attributable to lower opening supply. Conversely, stocks of corn for grain and soybeans rose.

Lower total supplies for most crops were the result of lower production in 2021. This contributed to a decrease in exports for most crops, despite strong global demand. Both domestic and international grain markets continue to face uncertainty because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and international tensions.

Wheat stocks lower on decreased production

Stocks of total wheat fell 38.7% year over year to 10.1 million tonnes as of March 31. On-farm stocks decreased 52.8% to 6.0 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 9.2% to 4.1 million tonnes. Stocks of wheat excluding durum were down 36.5% to 8.6 million tonnes, while durum wheat stocks fell 49.1% to 1.5 million tonnes.

As of March 31, deliveries of wheat at the national level fell 28.8% to 16.2 million tonnes. Exports of wheat fell 44.0% to 10.0 million tonnes, 7.9 million tonnes lower compared with the same date in 2021.

Domestic use of wheat increased 14.9%, largely on higher demand for animal feed, which rose 24.7% to 4.9 million tonnes, while wheat for human food use also rose (+2.4%).

Canola exports at lowest level in more than a decade

Total stocks of canola fell 49.3% to 3.9 million tonnes as of March 31, representing the lowest level for this date since 2005. Both a 63.2% decline in on-farm stocks to 2.2 million tonnes and a 2.3% decrease in commercial stocks to 1.7 million tonnes contributed to the overall decrease.

Deliveries of canola fell 27.3% to 11.2 million tonnes year over year as of March 31, while industrial use, mostly for canola crushing, decreased 17.3% to 5.8 million tonnes.

Despite strong global demand for canola, limited supply contributed to a decrease in exports, which fell 48.4% to 4.1 million tonnes, the lowest exports for March 31 since 2008. Exports to major trading partners such as China and Japan were down compared with the same date in 2021.

Higher imports push corn for grain stocks up

Stocks of corn for grain rose 13.9% year over year to 9.3 million tonnes as of March 31. On-farm stocks decreased 1.8% to 5.3 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 43.9% to 4.0 million tonnes.

Higher stocks of corn for grain were attributable in large part to higher imports that climbed 264.1% to 3.3 million tonnes, a record for this period. Higher imports were largely a result of high demand for animal feed in western Canada. High production in 2021 also contributed to higher stocks of corn for grain.

Soybean stocks edge up despite lower supply

Stocks of soybeans edged up 0.1% to 2.0 million tonnes as of March 31. On-farm stocks were unchanged for the date at 1.1 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose slightly (+0.2% to 907 100 tonnes).

Total carry-in stocks decreased (-52.7%), as did production (-1.4%) in 2021. Lower total supply was offset by a decrease in exports which fell 6.9% to 3.7 million tonnes, while domestic use decreased 8.9% to 1.2 million tonnes.

Barley and oat stocks fall

Barley stocks fell 43.7% to 1.7 million tonnes as of March 31, driven by a 43.2% decline in on-farm stocks to 1.4 million tonnes and a 45.7% decrease in commercial stocks to 320 600 tonnes. Both lower total carry-in stocks (-25.7%) and lower production (-35.3%) contributed to the year-over-year decrease.

Exports of barley fell 28.1% to 2.1 million tonnes as of March 31, 2022. Off-farm deliveries dropped 21.7% to 3.3 million tonnes. The volume of barley used for domestic purposes, largely animal feed, fell 32.3% to 4.0 million tonnes. This decrease was likely attributable to a low supply and higher prices compared with the same date a year earlier.

Oat stocks fell 48.6% to 947 100 tonnes. On-farm stocks decreased 57.2% to 644 400 tonnes, while commercial stocks dropped 10.6% to 302 700 tonnes.

As of March 31, the total domestic use of oats fell 28.5%, largely because of lower feed use (-29.6%). Exports also decreased, down 25.5% to 1.6 million tonnes.

Stocks of dry peas and lentils lower as exports decrease

Stocks of dry peas fell 34.9% to 1.2 million tonnes as of March 31. On-farm stocks drove the decrease, falling 38.8% to 902 000 tonnes year over year, while commercial stocks fell 20.4% to 321 900 tonnes.

Exports of dry peas decreased 50.9% compared with the same date a year earlier.

Lentil stocks declined 34.1% to 949 100 tonnes, as on-farm stocks fell 38.9% to 770 000 tonnes, while commercial stocks edged down 0.1% to 179 100 tonnes.

Data on stocks of principal field crops held on farms come from the March 2022 Field Crop Survey, conducted with approximately 11,500 Canadian farmers from March 1 to March 29, 2022. The survey also contains two questions about permanent on-farm grain storage capacity and the quantity of grain stored on farms using temporary storage methods. These data are available upon request.

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