Hopefully the interest in U.S. grain exports will soon be seen within the Canadian industry. Monday's DTN reports show that cumulative grain inspections for the 2016/17 crop year are up 25% from last year for wheat, 112% higher than the same period last year for soybeans and 50% higher than last year for corn.
The slow pace of prairie harvest points to a different situation for Canada's exports. Most recent crop reports show Saskatchewan's harvest 38% complete as of Sept. 12, as compared to the five-year average of 44%, while the Alberta crop was estimated to be 20% complete, also well below the five-year average of close to 38%.
As seen on the attached chart, exports of all grain from licensed facilities as of the week ending Sept. 11 or week 6 were reported at 3.446 million metric tons (green bar), down 17% from the same period in 2014/15 and also below the five-year average of 3.606 mmt. This is a three-year low for fall movement as of week 6, with a recent high of 5.007 mmt achieved in 2014/15.
Data for the big crops of wheat and canola show cumulative exports behind last year's pace, while wheat exports are behind the five-year average for the period while cumulative exports of canola, at 698,100 mt, is 19.6% behind last year but 12.3% higher than the five-year average.
Exports of durum are well ahead of last year's pace as of the week in question at 336,900 mt, although remains behind the five-year average pace. Exports of both oats and peas remain ahead of both last year and the five-year pace.
The reduced demand for railcars is seen in AG Transport Coalition data as of week 4 which shows the weekly average demand for both railroads combined averaging 6,662 cars/week, down 15.6% or 1,230 cars/week from last year. For week 4, combined data for the two railways shows 90% of the cars ordered supplied in the week wanted. It's interesting to note that CN Rail supplied 89% of the cars wanted in week 4, which was down from a high of 98% in week 2. At the same time, CP Rail supplied 90% of the cars wanted in week 4, up from a low of 76% reported for week 1.
To date, the car supply by corridor shows consistent movement across the six shipping corridors listed. CN Rail has supplied 96% of the cars ordered overall, while by shipping corridor, cars supplied range from 92% to 98% of the demand by corridor. While CP has supplied 94% of cars requested overall, by corridor this represents 91% to 98% of the demand by corridor.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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