OTTAWA, CANADA — Less-than-average precipitation, strong winds and increasing heatwaves has challenged Canada’s wheat production for the 2021-22 marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Canadian wheat production is expected to slip to 32 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year compared to 35.1 million tonnes in the previous year. The USDA noted a possible future reduction in its estimate depending on how the full impact of recent weather events is known.

Imports of wheat products and flour are at an all-time high due to increased consumption at the beginning of the 2020-21 marketing year. The USDA attributed the increase to COVID-19 changing consumption habits such as a rise in cupboard staples like pasta.

Strong demand from China continues to push Canada’s exports in the 2020-21 marketing year to 28 million tonnes compared to 23.47 million tonnes in the 2019-21 marketing year. The USDA expects this demand to continue into the 2021-22 marketing year but warned of a possible easing with an estimate of 23.5 million tonnes of wheat to be exported.

The continued global demand is anticipated to weigh on Canada’s wheat stocks. The USDA forecasts stocks to reach their lowest level in seven years to 3.83 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.