Canadian international merchandise trade data for January reported the country's total exports at a monthly record of $46 billion, with overall volumes up 3.6% and prices down a total of 2.5%.
The value of Canada's imports also increased to a record in January, offsetting the record level of exports to result in a growing trade deficit. Canada's trade deficit with the world increased $21 million to $655 million in January, although was well-below pre-report expectations.
The country's Farm, fishing and intermediate food products category shows January's exports at $2.706 billion, down 3.2% from December, although 4.1% above January 2015 levels.
It's interesting that Canada's record exports for January were reported the same day that the U.S. reported all exports at a five-year low. Canada's overall trade surplus with the U.S. was reported at close to $3.7 billion, the highest seen in six months. Meanwhile, Canadian economists applaud the strong jobs report in the U.S. today with the hope that this trend will continue.
Here is a look at some of the export data for various Canadian crops.
Canada's lentil exports totaled 180,139 metric tons in January, the lowest monthly volume shipped since last August. Cumulative exports as of January total 1.820 million metric tons, 55% above the same period in 2014/15 and 103% above the five-year average. With January's data representing the first 50% of the crop year, total cumulative exports represent 75.8% of the 2.4 mmt export target set by AAFC.
Given that current AAFC estimates suggest a 2015/16 carryover of just 100,000 mt or a stocks/use ratio of 4%, the industry is in the final few months of available supplies.
Turkey remained the largest buyer in January at 70,419 mt, as it was in December, while volumes shipped to India have slipped each month since the 328,232 mt movement in October.
The country's dry pea exports were reported at 159,018 mt in January, the second lowest monthly volume shipped this crop year. Cumulative exports as of January are reported at 1.672 mmt, 88.4% of the volume shipped in the same period in 2014/15 but 9% higher than the five-year average. With this representing the first 50% of the crop year, cumulative exports represent 55.7% of the 3 mmt export target set by AAFC.
China and India remain the two largest buyers this month, with similar volumes to each country with the two countries taking roughly 80% of the total volume.
Chickpea exports totaled 12,525 mt in January, down from the 17,220 mt shipped in December. Cumulative exports total 69,503 mt, 272% of the same period last year and 278% of the three-year average. Cumulative exports represent 63.2% of the 2015/16 export target of 110,000 mt set by AAFC, well-ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.
Mustard exports totaled 9,250 mt in January, a three-month low. Cumulative volumes total 56,893 mt, down 7% from the same time-frame last year while close to 10% below the three-year average. As of January, cumulative exports represent 47.4% of the 120,000 mt export target set by AAFC.
Ending stocks of mustard are estimated to fall to an extremely tight 5,000 mt or just 3% of use by the end of July.
Canaryseed exports for the month of January slowed to 10,060 mt, the second monthly drop since the 23,425 mt shipped in November. Cumulative volumes exported total 75,233 mt, which is 82% of the volume shipped in the same period in 2015 and is 97.4% of the three-year average. This volume represents 51.9% of the 145,000 mt export target, slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach the target.
Current AAFC estimates suggest that ending stocks will fall to an extremely tight 5,000 mt or just 3% of annual use by the end of July.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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