Canada Markets

Durum Exports Continue to Lag

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Statistics as of week 35, or the week ending April 1, show Canada's durum exports reported at 2.6685 million metric tons, 4.9% behind the pace of the previous crop year and the lowest cumulative exports for this week in six crop years. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

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

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