Canadian farmers cut wheat plantings, government says

Wheat is harvested on a farm near Beausejour

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Canadian farmers planted less wheat and more canola than previously expected, government agency Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Less wheat from the fourth-largest exporter could contribute to a drop in world wheat stocks that are forecast to decline to a nine-year low in 2024-25, after adverse weather hurt crop estimates in top-supplier Russia.

Statistics Canada pegged all-wheat plantings at 26.641 million acres, down from its March estimate of 27.045 million acres and 26.932 million acres in 2023. Traders and analysts surveyed by Reuters estimated plantings at 26.943 million acres.

The agency estimated Canadian canola plantings at 22.007 million acres, compared to its March estimate for 21.394 million acres and analysts' expectations for 21.520 million acres. In 2023, farmers planted 22.082 million acres.

Canada is the world's largest canola exporter.

For soybeans, plantings were estimated at 5.743 million acres, up from the agency's March estimate for 5.582 million acres and matching analysts' expectations. In 2023, Canadian farmers planted 5.631 million acres. U.S. farmers also expanded soy plantings this year, seeking to minimize losses.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Sharon Singleton)