Approaching 700,000 hectares of crops in Canada's top grain-growing
province will go unplanted thanks to excessive rainfall, with rains returning
after a dry window which allowed some catch-up in seedings.
Farm officials in Saskatchewan, reporting overnight on
spring sowings progress, said that "it is estimated that 5% of acres will not
be seeded due to excess moisture".
Excluding winter crops from the 13.4m hectares of Saskatchewan
plantings unveiled by a Statistics Canada report last month into farm sowings
plans, that amounts to some 650,000-700,000 hectares (1.6m-1.7m acres) of lost
The Saskatchewan briefing also flagged that "some" crops
will need reseeding after "hard frost last week damaged some alfalfa, winter
cereal and canola fields".
North vs south
The comments came even as Saskatchewan reported some
catch-up by farmers on sowings in the week to Monday, when "much of the
province did not receive any moisture".
"Seeding is advancing quickly in the province thanks to
warm, dry weather," officials said, pegged at 60% the proportion of spring sowings
completed as of Monday – double the figure of a week before, although still
behind the average of 65%.
However, the average figure disguised a sharp difference in fortunes
between growers in southerly areas, where farmers have got ahead in seedings –
and where dryness is raising some concerns over germination - and northern
parts where moisture problems are focused.
"Many producers have completed seeding operations while
others will need several more weeks of warm, dry weather."
In north eastern Saskatchewan, where farmers have seeded
just 25% of their crops, the proportion of lost area was seen coming in at 15%.
'Notable rains have returned'
Canada's Prairies in fact receiving fresh precipitation,
with Minneapolis-based broker Benson Quinn Commodities saying that "the problem
areas of north central Alberta into north western Saskatchewan are receiving
the expected rain".
Don Keeney at MDA Weather Services said that "notable rains
have now returned to western areas, which are stalling fieldwork.
"The rains should push into central and eastern Prairies crop
areas over the next few days, slowing planting there as well."
In the western Prairies, "drier weather this weekend will
allow planting there to resume", he said, but rainfall "should return there
later next week".
Futures price impact
Canada's sowings setbacks have, given the country's importance
as a grower of spring wheat and canola, fuelled outperformance in prices of
Winnipeg's July canola contrast has fallen by 0.4% this
week, in dollar terms, compared with a 1.7% decline in Chicago soybean futures for
Minneapolis spring wheat, meanwhile, on Thursday saw its
premium over Chicago-traded soft red winter wheat – a lower-quality grain – touch
a contract high of $1.32 ¼ a bushel, July basis.
Lowest stocks since
Amid longstanding talk of some squeeze on supplies of higher
quality wheat, Tregg Cronin, at North Dakota-based Halo Commodity Company, flagged
a "continued draw in hard red spring wheat stocks" certified for delivery
against Minneapolis futures.
"Combined stocks in Minneapolis/Duluth declined by 961,000
bushels" in a "sixth consecutive week" of shrinkage which has reduced
inventories by 5.51m bushels.
"Total wheat stocks now stand at 19.405m bushels versus
22.737m bushels a year ago, and the lowest since 2014."