Statistics Canada's International merchandise trade report for May shows Canada's trade deficit with all countries increasing to $2.8 billion in May, a larger deficit than expected by economists and up from $1.9 billion in the previous month with imports seen increasing month/month while total exports fell. Canada's trade deficit has increased in three of the past four months, while May saw the second largest monthly deficit seen in 2018.
The following is a look at miscellaneous agriculture trade data for the month.
Lentil exports were reported at 113,015 metric tons for the month of May, the smallest month movement seen in five months. Year-to-date exports total 1.273 million metric tons, down 44.2% from the same 10-month period in 2017/18 and down 29.1% from the five-year average. Cumulative shipments have achieved 85% of the 1.5 mmt export forecast set by AAFC, with data covering the first 83% of the crop year. India was noted as the third largest buyer at 10,550 mt, down 91% from the 123,010 mt that was shipped in the same month of 2017. It is interesting to note that India was shipped more product in May 2017 than all 56 customers listed for May 2018.
Dry pea exports in May totaled 364,596 mt, the largest monthly movement seen in eight months and the largest volume shipped in the month of May in five years. Total crop-year exports total 2.488 mmt, down 32.4% from the same period in 2016/17 and down 7.2% from the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports have reached 92% of the 2.7 mmt export forecast set by AAFC, well ahead of the pace needed to reach this forecast, which was increased by 200,000 mt in AAFC's June supply and demand estimates. China remains by far the largest buyer for the month, with 223,824 mt shipped, 61.4% of the total volume and well-above the 39,505 mt imported in the same month last crop year. At the same time, India was shipped 40,161 mt in May, or 11% of the total volume, well below the 116,435 mt shipped in the same month in 2017 that represented 56.9% of the total volume.
Chickpea exports in May totaled 1,623 mt, the smallest monthly shipments seen this crop year and the smallest May shipments seen in this month in six years as supplies dwindle. Cumulative crop-year exports at 109,898 mt are 17% higher than the same 10-month period in 2016/17 and 48% higher than the five-year average. Total crop-year exports have reached 84.5% of the current 130,000-mt export target set by AAFC, although weak exports in recent months suggest this target may be optimistic.
Mustard exports totaled 10,311 mt in the month of May, the smallest monthly volume moved in May in six years. Crop-year exports total 96,688 mt, which is 8.5% lower than the same period in 2016/17 and 8.3% below the five-year average. Cumulative exports account for 77.4% of the current AAFC forecast of 125,000 mt, slightly behind the cumulative pace needed to reach this target.
Canary seed exports in May totaled 22,262 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped this crop year and the largest volume shipped in the month of May in data reviewed over the past seven years. Cumulative shipments of 129,633 mt are equal to the volume shipped in the same period in 2016/17 as well as equal to the five-year average for this period, while slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach the current 150,000 mt forecast set by AAFC.
Canada's soybean exports were reported at 208,750 mt in May, up from last month but still the third-lowest monthly volume shipped this crop year. This is the largest volume shipped in the month of May in data going back to 2011/12. Cumulative exports at 4.240 mmt, are 4.6% higher than the same period in 2016/17 and 22.8% higher than the five-year average. Cumulative exports are 92.2% of the 4.6 mmt target set by AAFC, seemingly easily on track to meet or exceed this forecast. Italy was the largest buyer this month at 84,174 mt, or 40% of the total volume shipped. China was shipped only 4,530 mt in May, up from last month, while just 10.7% of the volume they were shipped in the same month in 2017.
Corn exports in May totaled 296,880 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped this crop year and the largest May shipments seen in four years. Cumulative exports total 1.1 mmt, 21.9% higher than the same period last crop year and 25.2% higher than the five-year average for this period that represents the first three-quarters of the row-crop crop-year. Cumulative exports have reached 66.7% of AAFC's export demand forecast of 1.65 mmt, behind the steady pace needed to reach the current forecast. Over the past five years, and average of 5.1 mmt was shipped in the final three months of the crop year. Of the total volume shipped, 244,184 mt or 82.2% of the total volume was shipped to Western Europe, including Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
May exports of canola oil were reported at 240,541 mt, the lowest volume shipped in three months, while cumulative exports of 2.531 mmt are 2.5% below the volume shipped in the same period of 2016/17. Canola meal exports in May totaled 377,000 mt, the lowest volume shipped in three months while the cumulative volume of 3.779 mmt is 4.4% lower than the same period in 2016/17.
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