Forecasts for 2019 Canadian crop plantings are beginning to come forward. The latest estimates from Farm Credit Canada are calling for a 16% increase in Canadian seeded oat area this spring. This compares with the recent Ag Canada forecast of up 5.3%, and the average industry estimate of between 3-5% higher.
Quite clearly, anything less than 10% up is not going to safely replenish oat supplies in 2019/20 (based on average yields and area abandonment). At a 5% increase 20,19/20 Canadian end stocks will barely come in above the record low based on limited increases in commercial oat demand.
The FCC estimate of up 16% if you’re looking at old crop oat prices makes sense. However new crop oat values versus wheat and barley do not suggest a 16% increase in seeded oat area. Rather something closer to 5% up.
Provincially, the FCC is looking for an -11.2% decrease in Alberta, up 30.4% in Saskatchewan and up 19.4% in Manitoba. Quite frankly the Saskatchewan and Manitoba YOY increases are historically huge. Stats Can will not release their first 2019 oat plantings estimate until April.