Canada's export data for March proved disappointing, with both exports and imports falling for the month despite the weaker Canadian currency, while the country's trade deficit grew for the third consecutive month to a record $3.4 billion. Total monthly exports of $40.990 billion were the lowest level seen since January 2014.
Of the 11 sub-groups reported, exports for 10 fell from the previous month, with the Farm, fishing and intermediate food products category falling 8.1% for the month. Also, of the 11 sub-groups reported, year-over-year exports of five sub-groups were lower, with the largest year-over-year change seen in energy products with a drop of 39.1%. The Farm, fishing and intermediate food products category fell to a two-month low, but was .1% higher than year-ago data, measured in dollars.
Overall trade with the United States remains a concern, with the country's trade surplus falling from $2.1 billion to $1.5 billion in March, the smallest trade surplus reported since December 1993.
Here's a look at miscellaneous crop data.
As seen on the attached graphic, lentil exports for March fell to 73,395 metric tons, the smallest monthly movement seen since August. This is the fifth consecutive monthly decline and the smallest March shipments since 2012, although as seen on the chart, this year's movement was weighted heavily on the front-end given the 526,630 mt shipped in October. Year-to-date, 1.894 million metric tons has been shipped, 23.7% above last year and 60% higher than the three-year average. With this data covering two-thirds of the current crop year, 79% of the 2.4 mmt AAFC target has been achieved, with movement well-ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.
Dry pea exports in the March were reported at 242,702 mt, a five-month high and the largest March shipments seen in three years. Year-to-date movement totals 1.934 mmt, 84.4% of last year's volume while 97.2% of the three-year average. Year-to-date movement is 64.5% of the 3 mmt export target set by AAFC, very close to the pace needed to reach this target.
March exports of mustard were reported at 10,417 mt. Year-to-date exports are reported at 78,742 mt, which is 95.8% of the volume shipped in the same period last year while 94.8% of the three-year average. Current volumes represent 65.6% of the 120,000 mt target set by AAFC and very close to being on track to reach this target.
Exports of canary seed in March totaled 13,635 mt, a three-month high and the largest March shipments seen in four years. 2015/16 cumulative volume totals 91,892 mt, 78% of last year's volume and 93.4% of the three-year average. This volume represents 63.4% of the 145,000 mt export target set by AAFC, with movement only slightly behind the pace needed to reach the annual target.
March shipments of chickpeas totaled 11,132 mt, a five-month low but still well-above historical volumes shipped in March. Year-to-date, 94,905 mt has been shipped, up 137% from the same period last year and 161.4% higher than the three-year average. The cumulative volume of 94,905 mt represents 86.3% of the 2015/16 target of 110,000 mt, well-ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.
Soybean exports in March total 248,272 mt, a six-month low but well-above the same month in past years. Year-to-date, 3.556 mmt has been shipped, 12.9% above the same period last year and 21.8% higher than the three-year average. The current cumulative volume represents 84.7% of the 4.2 mmt export target set by AAFC and with only 58.3% of the September-through-August crop year reporting, is well-ahead of the volume needed to reach this target.
March saw exports of 98,306 mt of corn exported, a three-month high. The current cumulative export volume of 547,945 mt represents a volume which is 161.4% higher than last year while 15.3% higher than the three-year average. This volume represents 54.8% of the current 1 mmt export target set by AAFC, slightly behind the cumulative pace needed to reach this target.
The next Statistics Canada poll is to be released on May 6 at 7:30 CDT with Canada's March 31 grain stocks being reported.
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