Canada Markets

Late Harvest Leads to Tight Prairie Grain Stocks

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Late harvest on the Prairies has led to well-below normal primary elevator stocks as of week 5. Stocks were reported at 2.108 mmt, down 33.6% from the same week in 2018-19 and 36.7% below the three-year average. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Grain Monitoring Program's Weekly Performance Update for week 5 reports the week 6 vessel lineup for Vancouver up by eight from the previous week to 30 vessels, up 58% from the same week in 2018-19 and above the one-year average of 21/week. The Prince Rupert lineup is reported steady at three vessels, unchanged from the previous week, up 50% from the same week last crop year and just below the one-year average of four/week.

At the same time, primary elevator stocks in the country are tight relative to past years due to the delayed harvest. As of week 5, or the week ended Sept. 8, grain stocks totaled 2.1084 million metric tons (mmt), down 33.6% from the same week in 2018-19 and 31.1% below the three-year average for this week. Looking back at historical week 5 data, this is the lowest country stocks reported for this week in data checked over the past 10 years.

By province, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have realized a similar drop in stocks over the past year, with Manitoba's primary stocks reported at 509,500 metric tons (mt), down 35.6% from last year and down 36.5% in Saskatchewan to 1.146 mmt. Stocks in Alberta are down 22.7% from the same week in 2018-19 to 440,900 mt.

Looking at the two largest crops, stocks of wheat are down 58% over the past year at 515,800 mt and stocks of canola are down 16.8% from one year ago to 397,700 mt.

The Ag Transport Coalition reports in the Weekly Performance Update that both CN and CP combined spotted 98% of the cars requested for loading in week 5 and outstanding orders for the crop year are minimal at a total of 120 cars. At the same time, hopper car demand by shippers has fallen by 2,543 cars year over year.

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