Canada Markets

A Look at August West Coast Grain Clearance

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart highlights the clearance of export grains from West Coast terminals in August, as reported by the Canadian Grain Commission. A total of 2.094 million metric tons were exported of all grain during the month from the West Coast, up sharply from 2016/17 and 28% higher than the five-year average, as measured against the primary vertical axis. The blue line with markers represents the West Coast share of total Canadian licensed exports, measured at 69.6% in August, second only to the same month in 2015/16. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

The Canadian Grain Commission's Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour for August shows 2.094 million metric tons of all grains shipped through West Coast ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert in August, up 28.3% from the same month in 2016, while also 28.% higher than the five-year average for the month (2012/13 through 2016/17). This volume is close to the recent highs for August of 2.182 mmt realized in 2014/15 and 2.169 mmt achieved in 2015/16.

Considering the major grains, wheat movement at 1.045 mmt (excluding durum) was reported 32.2% higher than year-ago volumes reported in August, while 17.2% higher than the five-year average. Durum movement off the West Coast at 206,000 metric tons was 256% higher than the volume reported for August 2016, while 121.9% higher than the five-year average. Canola movement was reported at 532,100 metric tons, 8.7% higher than 2016 and 22.2% higher than the five-year average. Movement of peas was off to a shaky start in August, with the monthly volume of 94,300 mt down 66% from last year and 52.3% below the five-year average.

This movement was facilitated given high terminal stocks as of July 31 2017, with the CGC reporting West Coast stocks of terminal grains at 649,700 mt, which was up 78% from the previous year and 30% higher than the five-year average.

Also of interest is the share of Canada's total exports moving through West Coast terminals. The line with markers on the attached chart shows the August volume of 2.094 mmt representing 69.6% of the total 3.007 mmt of licensed Canadian exports. This early start to West Coast movement in the crop year is second only to August 2015/16 on the attached chart when this percentage reached 72.7% for the month. Over the past five years (2012/13 through 2016/17), CGC data for licensed exports shows an average of 65% of all exports cleared through West Coast ports.

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