Canada Markets

Pace of Soybean Exports Remains on the Radar

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Despite a surge in 2017/18 soybean production and an expected surge in exports, licensed cumulative exports (black line) continue to trail last year's pace (green line). (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Thursday's USDA weekly sales and exports report showed cumulative 2016/17 export sales for U.S. soybeans are trailing the 2016/17 pace by 18%, while cumulative physical shipments are 13% behind last year's pace. This compares to USDA's recent November WASDE projections, which are pointing to an expected 4% year-over-year increase in exports this crop year.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada estimates also call for a year-over-year increase in the country's soybean exports of 37% to 6.1 million metric tons in their November estimates, given an expected 27% increase in 2017 production to 8.3 mmt. Current media reports are suggesting that this production estimate may be trimmed, but only slightly in next week's Statistics Canada report.

As seen on the accompanying graphic, cumulative exports through licensed facilities are trailing the 2016/17 pace, with a cumulative 1.7572 mmt shipped as of week 17, or Nov. 26, which is 14.7% lower than reported for the same period in 2016. While the licensed exports do not explain the entire story of soybean movement, they accounted for 82.5% of total exports in 2016/17, according to a combination of Canadian Grain Commission and Statistics Canada data.

This lag is seen despite producer deliveries into licensed facilities reported at 1.221 mmt, up 18.4% from the same period last crop year as of week 17. This has not translated into higher export terminal receipts, with the cumulative volume reported at 3.201 mmt, down 5.5% from the same period in 2016/17.

In 2016/17, cumulative licensed exports as of week 17 accounted for 46% of total crop-year exports, while over the past four years, cumulative licensed exports as of week 17 accounted for an average of 43.4% of total crop-year exports. These two numbers would lead to projected 2017/18 total exports of 3.8 mmt to 4 mmt, far short of the current AAFC target of 6.1 mmt.

The Canadian Grain Commission's Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour report for the month of October shows crop-year exports to Western European countries down 83,000 mt, or 21%, from 2016/17 while exports to China are moderately lower. China's official import data released by Dow Jones shows the country's October imports up 12.4% from year-ago volumes. USDA is projecting global consumption in 2017/18 to rise by 4.5% while global trade is expected to increase by 3.2%.


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This week's poll asks your thoughts on the latest Canadian Federation of Independent Business November Business Barometer Index for agriculture that shows a slight improvement in the ag confidence index but remains close to the lowest index indicated for the 13 business sectors monitored. You can weigh in with your thoughts on this poll, which is found, at the lower right of the DTN Canada Home Page. Thanks for your input!

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