Western Canada Market Report – August 17, 2023 – Web

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Weekly Futures Tracker

2023 Report Schedule – Important Dates – Click Here For Report Release Schedule

Market Overview

  • Canola finding some life in the futures traded crop, riding a 5 day gain along soybean oil and soybeans.
    • Soybeans taking advantage of a hot and dry 10 day outlook for much of the US
    • Soybeans did see some good rains last week, so markets unsure which way to take this one. But we are trading the future US forecast for the time being.
    • Attacks on ports in Danube river system in Ukraine into Wednesday morning allowed corn and spring wheat to trade higher for the day after a stretch of fund selling. Chicago wheat and corn have been the main targets for fund selling in recent sessions.
    • Pro Farmer crop tour begins on Monday, the private tour will be closely watched by industry to gain further insights into the US crop ahead of the midwestern harvest season.
  • Canadian Harvest activity is well underway in the southern half of the prairie grain belt, and just beginning in the northern portions.
    • Durum, lentils, peas, spring wheat, oats and the odd field of canola has been harvested
    • Yields are mixed vs pre harvest expectations. Anecdotal reports from across the prairies have some producers happier than expected with yield, but in general, most reports are as expected or lower than initially anticipated.
    • Still quite early in the harvest game, as of August 15th, Manitoba reporting just 5% spring wheat harvest completed, 22% of field peas off and 1% of oat and barley acres harvested
    • Saskatchewan reporting similar numbers, but will update provincial progress later this afternoon.
    • Most of prairie harvest progress is in the major drought struck regions.
  • Durum and Oat bids were the first to take a step higher at the start of harvest but have settled out in the past few days.  Most oat buyers in the $5.00+ range for new crop. Durum bids $15.00+
  • June oat exports for Canada hit a 185,000 tonnes. The biggest single month in the past two years.
  • North American oat production expected to come in lower than 2021/22.
  • Export basis at both Vancouver and Thunder bay continues to fall and now sits at its lowest levels since spring of 2021. Canada is home to the most expensive canola on the globe and is hampering export outlooks for the crop.
    • This years smaller anticipated crop has been supported by strong crush margins for the crop domestically.  Crushers will not have to fight as hard to keep the crop at home and out of the global market although as export bids just do not carry the same premium 12-18 months ago.
  • September 6th is the Bank of Canada interest rate decision date, Inflation figures play a very heavy influence on the Bank of Canada’s decision.
    • August 15th, Tuesday, inflation came in at 3.3% vs June’s 2.8%. Analysts were estimating a 3% rise, so inflation did come in slightly hotter. Grocery costs were up 8.5% in July.
  • Alberta provincial crop report came out with some pre harvest yield estimates on August 11th
    • Spring wheat at 39bpa vs a 46 bpa 5 year average
    • Barley at 54 bpa vs 60 bpa average
    • Oats at 77 bpa vs 74 bpa average
    • Canola at 32 vs 38 bpa average
    • Peas at 34 bpa vs 38 bpa average
  • For reference, included below are the yield estimates from the late July report 2 years ago in the 2021 massive drought year:
    • 2021 yield estimates
    • Spring wheat 30bpa
    • Barley 36 bpa
    • Oats 47 bpa
    • Canola 25 bpa
    • Peas 22 bpa
  • Private analysts of the European grain harvest now expect total production to fall below last years levels as late season drought and some very recent quality issues related to the cereals has pushed expectations lower of the EU
  • Ukraine harvest looks to be as much as 1/3 larger than last year with around 2/3 of the crop off
  • It looks like Russia is moving wheat prices higher to $260/$270 per tonne as an export benchmark vs the $220 to $230 base seen in July
  • Manitoba Crop Insurance actual planted insured acreage numbers.
    • Oat acres in Manitoba come in at 282,000. Down a whopping 57% year over year. Stats Canada was estimating a 23% drop. Significant to say the least.
  • US spring wheat tour end of July:
    • 47.4 bpa vs 49.1 bpa last year average spring wheat
    • Durum came in at 43.9 bpa vs 39 bpa last year.
  • China and Australia set to resume Barley trade with China removing the 80.5% tariff on Australian Barley.
    • Canadian barley prices have remained weak due to harvest pressure and perceived lost demand due to the Aussie China trade agreement. US Corn prices remain low and corn has become cheap enough to replace more Canadian barley into cattle feedlots.

Prime Rate History – Chartered Banks Canada

Canola 6 Month Chart –

50 Day Moving Average – 100 Day Moving Average (Yellow) – 18 Day Moving Average (Red)

Spring Wheat 6 Month Chart

50 Day Moving Average – 100 Day Moving Average (Yellow) – 18 Day Moving Average (Red)

Spring Wheat

$8.06/Bushel – Down $0.09 USD / Bushel Past Five Trading Days

  • Wheat and corn futures all lower for the past five days and the prior thirty. Fears of a smaller crop waned in recent weeks as US rains improved and the grain continues to flow out of the Black Sea despite ongoing attacks.
  • Wheat futures loosing interest in the ongoings in the Black Sea. Funds have been shorting the market lower in the past three weeks after the end of the Ukraine/Russian trade corridor.
    • There has been extensive attacks on each others export positions in recent weeks although wheat futures tend to be turning a blind eye to the reports for now.
    • Markets instead turning to see if exports actually truly get hampered. Scarcity has not been an issue yet and markets are less inclined to buy headlines in recent weeks.
  • Traders looking to get a good feel on size and quality domestically and will adjust grade and protein scales accordingly as harvest sets in closer to September.
  • Large amounts of spring wheat was planted in western Canada this spring. 19.47 million acres planted this year vs 18.04 million last year and 16.02 million acres the year prior. Spring wheat just beginning to come off, protein higher in dry areas.  Very minimal acres of HRSW harvested so far.


  • Canadian Canary Seed stocks set to become quite tight compared to recent years.
    • Less acres for the crop but the added stressor of anticipated low yield on the crop has the Canadian crop sitting at a 4 year low for ending stocks. Prices have already responded and most bids sit in the 40 cent range or greater today.
  • Red lentil bids picking up slightly so far in western Canada. Key markets for reds have been sitting near 2 year lows but both Turkish and Indian bids ticked up as of last report. See chart above.
    • Green lentil bids move higher since the start of August, market sentiment has been stronger for these varieties.
  • Durum bids moving sharply higher in recent weeks at inland facilities across Canadian prairies. Bids picking up $2 in just a few short weeks. Durum will be interesting as it might be a short crop in lots of regions globally. Importer affordability is the main question although, and the spread between other wheat varieties is at a very wide gap.
    • Durum quality and quantity has been a wreck in many of the worlds largest markets. Italy has major quality issues and Canada will have quality and quantity issues as well.
  • China having some very significant wheat quality issues. Market not focusing on this substantially as China requires lots of feed products for lower quality products or feed usage in general.
  • Ocean freight rates are falling significantly for bulk commodities.  Containerized commodities, which many special crops are, still facing some logistical issues and heightened freight rates.  Yellow Peas is an example of a crop that can be shipped either way, depending on origin and end user.  Bigger purchases nowadays going bulk.
  • Shipping labour issues resolve at Port of Vancouver for the time being as a new contract has been signed.
  • Australian pea exports have been increasing in recent months. Mostly taking off towards China.
  • Yellow pea pricing into China is softening while green pea prices appear to be holding stable
  • Australia fulfilling Middle Eastern needs for Faba Beans. Does not bode well for Canadian Faba exports. Canadian Faba acres still relatively low with just 79,000 acres planted this year. Fabas mostly been pricing themselves into feed markets in recent years and export has not been substantial
  • Australia increased their pea crop to 341,000 tonnes, up 20% year over year.


$792.40 / Metric Tonne – Up $30.50 / Tonne – Past 5 Trading Days

Canola takes back last weeks losses and picks up $0.69 per bushel for the past week. As mentioned above, canola up on combination of smaller than anticipated Canadian crop and a hot and dry US forecast for the next ten days, despite a good rain event last week in bean region.

Canadian producers just beginning to get into Canola harvest.  Lots of canola being swathed in areas with heavier stands.  Early anecdotal reports are less than anticipated canola yields, but it is far to early to paint this crop with a wide brush. Worst fields coming off right now, better ones to follow.

Canola carrying a premium on the export market, although it has dropped from its $100 per tonne premium over Aussie canola just a few weeks ago. See chart below

Canola total usage has been coming in at its lowest level in years, with the exception of the 2021 drought disaster year. Total usage with most recent numbers has come in at 13.5 mmt.  2020 marketing year 16.6 mmt of crop had either been crushed or exported at the same time.

The number we are missing out on in Canada has been the export figures. Crush has continued to be relatively strong while margins remain strong for the domestic crop. Exports are the real issue. Canada has had a hard time with export business this marketing year, having to compete with a good crop in the EU last year and a massive crop in Australia being offered at cut rates to the Canadian crop. It is also important to note, that exports do have a limit on the old crop as carryout’s will be tight, so naturally crushers have been paying to keep their facilities full and exporters have a more challenging time to compete as global values are lower.

Ag Canada forecasting 9.5 mmt old crop (2022/23) crush for the year. It came in close to that, official numbers will be out in a few days here as it generally takes

It is expected that at least some of the new crush demand being built in western Canada will be online to take part of the 2023/24 canola crop, although it remains exactly unclear how much will be available.  Even an extra few hundred thousand tonnes of capacity at sometime during the year will take off some of the burden of finding an export market for the unprocessed commodity

Carryout domestically will be tight but many crushers have a good portion of their forward needs covered off for the time being. That places Canadian canola trying to compete into the global market where bids are lower. Canola markets would be soon expected to turn focus to domestic new crop.  Plenty of production risk is at play for the year ahead, as there is every year.

Very important to understand where you sit on your marketing plan and when you want to move your crop.


Canadian dollar sitting $0.739

Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 0.25% on the July 12th announcement. Prime at 7.20% for most financial institutions. This places CCGA or APP interest bearing portions at 6.45%.

Important to keep cost of carry for your inventory in mind. Have your advisor calculate cost per bushel carry for your own situation

Most recent CPI inflation numbers released came in at 3.3% in the August report vs expectations of 3%

Weather – WPC 5-7 Days Forecast


It is also important to note that these are not highly liquid markets(Fertilizer). They are meant to provide a price direction indication rather than a firm price.  Need to factor in the above variables.