The Grain Marketing Program's Weekly Performance Update points to an interesting trend late in the crop year, with western grain terminal stocks increasing for a third week in week 49 to 1.1979 million metric tons (mmt), up 28% from one year ago and 4% higher than the three-year average. The included chart in this week's report points to a downward trend in stocks seen in the latter weeks of the crop year during this period last year as well as in the three-year average.
Week 49 unloads at western terminals are reported 3% higher than the previous four-week average and only 2% lower than achieved in the same week of 2020-21. This late-year push to move grain to terminal positions is also seen in AG Transport Coalition's Weekly Performance Update that shows the weekly demand for hopper cars for loading at 4,347 cars in week 49, the highest seen in 11 weeks, while Canada's two major railways spotted 98% of the cars wanted for loading, their best performance seen in three weeks.
This is viewed as a surprise when one considers the estimate for total supplies of Canada's principal field crops falling by 25% from 2020-21 to 2021-22, which takes into account production of eastern grains. Canada's all-wheat supplies are currently estimated to fall by 32.3% year-over-year and canola supplies are currently estimated down 37.2%, which would lead one to believe that terminal stocks would be trending lower late in the crop year.
When this build in inventory is considered by crop, it is not surprising that canola stocks of 154,900 metric tons are below the year-ago level and the three-year average for this week.
At the same time, wheat inventory (excluding durum) at 735,500 mt is up 68.4% from one year ago and 50.3% above the three-year average for this week. Looking back at the Canadian Grain Commission's data provided to 2012-13, this is the highest level of wheat inventory seen for this week.
This could point to grain being rationed for shipment prior to new-crop arrival and bears watching.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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