UPDATE 2-Canada wheat, canola harvests top expectations

Thu Dec 4, 2014 10:01am EST
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(Adds analyst's comments on wheat, graphic, other crop estimates)

By Rod Nickel and Alex Paterson

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/OTTAWA Dec 4 (Reuters) - Canada produced more wheat and canola than expected this year, but not as much as in the record year of 2013, according to Statistics Canada's final crop production report for 2014.

Statscan pegged the all-wheat crop in the world's third-largest wheat exporter at 29.28 million tonnes, up 6.5 percent from its October estimate of 27.5 million tonnes and above the average trade expectation of 27.8 million tonnes.

Canola production reached 15.56 million tonnes, the second-biggest crop ever in the world's top exporter. The harvest was 10.5 percent larger than Statscan's previous estimate, and 1 million tonnes bigger than the average trade forecast.

"That's a shocker," said Ken Ball, commodities broker at PI Financial Corp. "That's a game-changer right there" for canola.

Canola will find ample demand from exporters and domestic crushers, but supplies now look "reasonably comfy" through the 2014/15 season, Ball said. One Western Canada crushing plant, owned by Louis Dreyfus Corp, has been shut since Oct. 24 after an explosion and fire.

ICE Canada January canola futures eased 0.4 percent in early trade.   Continued...