Canadian Wheat Harvest Seen Gaining as Global Supply Rebounds

Wheat production in Canada, poised to be this year’s third-largest shipper, will climb 4.8 percent in 2013-2014 as planting expands, helping to increase global supplies, according to government forecasts.

The country’s total harvest will rise to 28.5 million metric tons in the year from Aug. 1, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada said in a report e-mailed today. That will be the second-highest output, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. World supply will rise 31 million tons to 862 million tons in 2013-2014, the Canadian department said.

The Canadian government’s outlook adds to forecasts that global supplies are poised to expand, potentially helping to curb prices that rallied 21 percent in Chicago over the past year as inventories dropped. World wheat production may rebound to 694 million tons in 2013-2014, Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc., said on Jan. 26. The USDA has yet to issue its outlook for the next harvest.

“The overall condition of the world winter-wheat crop in the northern hemisphere is mostly good, with the major exception of the U.S. hard-red winter crop, which is worse than a year ago due to drought,” analyst Stan Skrypetz wrote in the report. “Canadian wheat prices are forecast to decrease.”

The U.S. winter-wheat crop, dormant since November, is in its worst condition since at least 1985, when record-keeping began, amid persistent drought. The country is the world’s largest wheat shipper.

Grain Shortage

Futures soared 19 percent in Chicago last year as meat producers switched to using wheat in animal feed, replacing corn because of a global grain shortage. Wheat for delivery in March traded little changed at $7.785 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 3:08 p.m. in Singapore, while red spring wheat fell 0.3 percent to $8.6375 a bushel on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Canada’s canola production, the world’s largest after the European Union, will rise 16 percent to 15.5 million tons in 2013-2014 as higher yields offset a decline in acreage, the agency said in the report. Exports from the largest shipper, will jump 14 percent to 8.2 million tons compared with a year earlier, it said.

Barley output will expand to 9 million tons from 8 million tons a year earlier, the department said. Exports will drop to 2.1 million tons from 2.3 million tons a year earlier as domestic use increases, it said.

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