OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Canada’s wheat production in 2020-21 is expected to increase slightly on a 2% increase in area planted and a decrease in area abandoned, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Wheat production is estimated at 33.8 million tonnes, up from an estimated production of 32.3 million tonnes in 2019-20. Marketing year 2019-20 was marked with unfavorable weather conditions, transportation challenges, market access issues and then the coronavirus (COVID-19). The latter three challenges are likely to continue to impact supply and demand well into 2020-21, the USDA said.

“As long as inputs such as fertilizer and on-farm chemicals remain available, transportation of grains remain fluid and processing facilities remain open without interruptions to labor supply, wheat (and oats) are expected to weather the COVID-19 storm relatively well, supported by sustained demand and resilient prices,” the USDA said.

Wheat exports for 2019-20 are expected to decrease 9% to 22.2 million tonnes due to significant global competition. For 2020-21, the USDA forecasts wheat exports to increase 8% on strong global demand.

Total domestic consumption of wheat in 2019-20 is forecast at 10.6 million tonnes, an increase of 18%, driven by increased use of wheat as feed. In 2020-21, consumption is estimated to drop 8% to 9.7 million tonnes due to an expected decline of cattle on feed levels.

In 2019-20, corn production is estimated to be 13.4 million tonnes, 4% lower than the previous year, due to yield deterioration. Corn exports are forecast to be 1.1 million tonnes, a 39% decline from the previous year, due to lower levels of domestic supplies and reduced global demand.

Total domestic consumption is forecast to be down 13% to 13.5 million tonnes caused by significant reduction in corn used for ethanol, as well as a decrease in corn used for feed.

Forecasts call for an increase in corn production in 2020-21 to increase to 13.8 million tonnes. Corn exports are predicted to fall to 1 million tonnes, the USDA said, the lowest level in six years, based on forecasts of large U.S. supplies and a reduction in US demand.

Total consumption is forecast to increase 4%, assuming a recovery of the ethanol industry by August 2020 and increased use of corn as feed.

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