As of December 31, 2018, total stocks of most major field crops in Canada were down from the same date in 2017.
Total stocks for wheat, barley, soybeans, corn for grain, lentils, and dry peas were lower than the previous year, while stocks for canola increased.
In general, the decline in total stocks was the result of lower production of almost all major field crops in 2018, combined with higher exports.
At the national level, total wheat stocks on December 31, 2018 were down 0.2% from the same period in 2017, to 23.2 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell from 19.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 19.1 million tonnes in 2018. The decrease in on-farm stocks offset the increase in commercial stocks, which rose 9.2% to 4.1 million tonnes in 2018.
While wheat production rose 6.0% at the national level in 2018, higher exports drove wheat stocks lower. Wheat exports increased 13.5% from the same date one year earlier to 10.0 million tonnes on December 31, the highest export volume for the same period since 2014.
Canola stocks rose to a record-high 14.6 million tonnes in 2018, a 4.9% increase from the previous year. On-farm stocks rose 6.3% over 2017 to 13.4 million tonnes. Commercial stocks decreased to 1.2 million tonnes in 2018, from 1.3 million tonnes in 2017.
Despite lower total production in 2018, canola stocks rose compared with one year earlier, due in large part to lower exports and high carry-in farm stocks from the previous crop year. Lower prices in the second half of the calendar year, combined with poor weather conditions in the Prairies during harvest, contributed to a decline in deliveries compared with the previous year.
Corn for grain
At the national level, corn for grain stocks fell 7.4% from December 31, 2017 to 11.5 million tonnes. On-farm stocks decreased from 9.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 8.5 million tonnes in 2018. Conversely, commercial stocks increased 0.6% over 2017 to 3.0 million tonnes.
Total stocks of soybeans in Canada fell from 4.4 million tonnes on December 31, 2017 to 4.0 million tonnes in 2018. On-farm stocks fell 12.9% from the same date in 2017 to 2.6 million tonnes. Meanwhile, commercial stocks rose 0.8% over the same period to 1.4 million tonnes.
Overall stocks of barley decreased to 4.9 million tonnes in 2018, down 1.1 million tonnes from the previous year. The decline was primarily fuelled by on-farm stocks, which fell 19.3% compared with 2017 to 4.6 million tonnes. Commercial stocks rose to 296 000 tonnes (+5.7%) compared with one year earlier.
As of December 31, 2018, total stocks of oats were down 19.7% year over year to 2.3 million tonnes. On-farm stocks fell 22.1% to 2.1 million tonnes, while commercial stocks rose 15.8% to 220 000 tonnes.
Dry peas and lentils
Nationally, stocks of dry field peas declined 11.4% from the same date in 2017 to 2.5 million tonnes.