Canada Markets

Thunder Bay Unloads Over 15 Weeks

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Thunder Bay unloads as of week 15 are reported at 2.289 mmt of all crops, marginally higher than 2021-22 and down 17% from the five-year average (blue bars against the primary vertical axis). The brown line with markers represents Thunder Bay unloads as a percentage of total port unloads, calculated at 14.3%, as measured against the secondary vertical axis. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Grain Marketing Program's Weekly Performance Update points to Thunder Bay unloads in week 15 at 1,420 cars, which is 11% lower than the four-week moving average and 22% lower than week 15 in 2021-22.

Cumulative data shows 23,821 cars unloaded in Thunder Bay over 15 weeks, down 5% from one year ago, while the unloaded tonnage of 2.2895 million metric tons is 10,100 metric tons or 0.4% higher than one year ago.

One reason for the year-over-year change is railway performance. The AG Transport Coalition Weekly Performance Update shows 22,290 hopper cars of 27,515 cars ordered have been supplied for Thunder Bay shipment during the first 15 weeks of the 2022-23 crop year, or 81% of the number requested. This time last year, the same report shows 97.5% of Thunder Bay cars were supplied over the same period.

A glance at weekly European statistics as of their week 21 or the week ending Nov. 20 signals concern early in the Canadian crop year. European durum imports of 321,509 mt are down 51.3% from 2021-22 and down 71% from the same period in 2020-21. The positive news is that imports from Canada account for 48.1% of this volume, close to the 51.1% reported this time last year.

At the same time, canola/rapeseed imports total 2.846 mmt as of their week 21, up 42.5% from the same period in 2021-22 and 3.8% higher than 2020-21. Of this volume, Canada's share accounts for only 3.8% of the total, with Australia and Ukraine accounting for 92.2% of the total imports.


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