One number that jumps off the page from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's May supply and demand estimates is a 1 million metric ton reduction in estimated soybean exports since last month to 4.6 mmt. Given a 300,000 metric ton hike in 2017/18 imports and a significant 525,000 mt hike in the residual Feed, Waste and Dockage category, ending stocks were increased from 375,000 mt in April to a record 1 mmt in May.
Statistics Canada's latest export data for March shows 3.855 mmt exported in the September-through-March period, up 4.1% from the same period in 2016/17. A continuation of this pace would lead to crop year exports of 4.6 mmt, consistent with AAFC's latest estimate. Over the past five years, an average of 84.5% of crop year exports have been realized by March, which would also project to crop year exports of 4.6 mmt, given the historical pace of movement.
As seen on the attached chart, estimated crop year stocks of 1 mmt are up sharply from the 359,500 mt estimated for 2016/17 and the 10-year average of 276,300 mt. The revised stocks, as a percentage of total disappearance, is calculated to rise from 5.1% to 13.1%, which would be the highest level seen in 12 years. AAFC estimates this will have little effect on prices, while revising the range of estimated returns $10/mt higher for 2017/18 ($430 to $460/mt) and $15/mt higher for 2018/19 ($430 to $470/mt).
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