As of week 35 data, or the week ending April 1, the Canadian Grain Commission reports 2.6685 million metric tons of cumulative durum exports, down 4.9% from the previous crop year and the lowest cumulative exports reported for this week since 2011/12. This volume is 14.9% below the previous four-year average of 3.1 mmt as of week 35.
Over the past four crop years, an average of 65.2% of total crop year exports were achieved as of week 35, a historical pace that would project crop year exports of 4.1 mmt, well-below the current AAFC estimate of 4.6 mmt. Given current AAFC estimates, this could add 500,000 mt back into ending stocks to leave stocks unchanged at 1.8 mmt and at a bearish 36% of use.
One concern is the disappearance of business with Italy, given an ongoing dispute over that country's country-of-origin labelling policy, as well as a dispute over the use of glyphosate in pre-harvest applications.
Given trade data for the end of February, a total of 284,386 metric tons of durum were shipped to Italy in the August-through-February period, down 60% from the four-year average and the lowest volume shipped in this period in nine years. Of this volume, the majority was shipped in August and September, while October-through-February shipments have averaged 228 mt/month. Over the past four years, shipments to Italy have accounted for a range from 15.4% to 27.5% of Canada's total durum exports, while to-date, 2017/18 shipments to Italy are 11.4% of total exports due to early crop year activity.
In addition, over the past four years, an average of 66% of Italy's crop year exports were reported as of week 35, which suggests that even a historical pace of shipments would leave movement to this country well-below average this year.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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