As of August 12, or the end of week 2, the Canadian Grain Commission reports that producers have delivered a total of 1.348 million metric tons of grain into licensed handling facilities, up 22% from the same period in 2017 while down just 2.3% from the five-year average. Of significance is that the cutoff for week 2 was reported at August 12 for this crop year, while over the past five years, week 2 ended anywhere from August 13 to August 18.
Of the two large crops of wheat and canola, it is interesting to note that producers have delivered 585,400 metric tons of wheat, up 45.3% from the same period last crop year, while at 313,800 mt, producers have delivered 35.4% more canola than reported for the same time from last year. This is shown by the blue bars as compared to the brown bars on the chart. Volumes delivered to date in 2018/19 for both of these crops are very close to their respective five-year average, as seen in the grey bars on the attached graphic.
Crops where early crop-year deliveries trail both the previous crop year and the five-year average are seen in both durum and dry peas, although this could change quickly as harvest activity picks up.
Prairie elevator space is good given the most recent data. Primary elevator space on the Prairies is reported at 2.540 mmt, down 114,000 mt from the same week last crop year. This represents just 34.3% of the 7.4045 mmt elevator space reported by Quorum Corporation, as well as 52.8% of their estimated working space.
Primary elevator shipments are reported at 1.2945 mmt, up 9.6% from the same period last crop year but at the same time, down 12.6% from the five-year average. Looking at it from the standpoint of volume in versus volume out, shipments reflect 96% of producer deliveries over the past two weeks. This ratio is shown at 106.9% in 2017/18 while the five-year average is 107.4% (shipments exceeding deliveries).
Slower movement is set to continue. As of August 19, the AG Transport Coalition's Daily Pipeline Status shows week 3 terminal unloads behind the previous week by 450 hopper cars, with a reduction in unloads seen at both Vancouver and Thunder Bay. One contributing factor is a planned maintenance shutdown at Alliance Grain Terminal in Vancouver, which is due to end soon. Total loads on wheels is 8,201 hopper cars, below the trailing 30-day average of 8,292 cars.
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