Statistics Canada reported that Canada's overall trade with the world in August resulted in the first trade surplus since December 2016 of $526 million. Both imports and exports fell over the month. The country's exports fell 1.1%, to $50.5 billion, even though exports in only five of 11 sectors reported showed a month-over-month drop.
Exports of the broad Farm, fishing and intermediate food products increased in August to $2.846 billion, just slightly below the four-month moving average. A narrower category, the Farm and fishing products, was also slightly higher from July at $2.199 billion, also just slightly below the four-month average.
The following represents miscellaneous data reported in this month's report.
Canada exported 158,716 metric tons of lentils in August, the first month of the 2018/19 crop year, the largest volume shipped in 11 months and the largest August shipments ever achieved. This volume is 112% higher than the five-year average for the month, while slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach the current AAFC forecast of 1.8 million metric tons, which would represent a year-over-year increase of 16.9% in volumes exported. Approximately 45% of the August volume was shipped to India, that country's largest monthly volume seen since May 2017.
Dry pea exports were reported at 112,217 mt in August, the smallest August volume shipped in five years. This volume represents 69.2% of the volume shipped in August 2017 and 53.6% of the five-year average for this month. This volume places volume behind the steady pace needed to reach the current 2.9 mmt AAFC export demand forecast for 2018/19, set only slightly below the volume realized in 2017/18. A volume of 72,686 mt was shipped to China, or 64.8% of the total volume, but well below the 202,000 mt shipped to this country on average over the past five months.
Chickpea exports were reported at 1,645 mt in August, up from the previous month but the smallest volume shipped in the month of August given data looked at back to 2010/11. A tight 2017/18 carryout was behind this data, with August shipments just 31.6% of the volume shipped in August 2017 and 22.8% of the five-year average for this month. This volume represents just 1.2% of the 135,000-mt export target set for 2018/19 by AAFC, behind the steady pace needed to achieve this target.
Statistics Canada reported 7,949 mt of mustard shipped in August, slightly higher than the volume shipped in August 2017. This volume represents 87% of the five-year average for this month, while places the month's volume behind the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC target of 125,000 mt.
A reported 10,926 mt of canary seed was reported shipped for August, the largest volume shipped in three months, 14.7% higher than the same month in 2017/18 and 95% of the five-year average. This volume reflects 10.4% of the 105,000-mt export forecast set by AAFC, while ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this target.
Canola exports were reported at 506,758 mt in August, down 26.4% from the same month in 2017. While DTN analysis focuses more on weekly data, it is interesting to note that approximately 51% of the monthly volume was shipped to China, the lowest monthly volume shipped to this country since February. So far, the notion that China's 25% import tariff on U.S. soybeans will force that country to chase alternative sources of oilseeds has failed to show up in canola's export data.
A similar situation is seen when one considers monthly soybean export data. Despite AAFC estimates that suggest that Canada will carryout 1 mmt of soybeans from 2017/18, only 83,388 mt of soybeans were exported in the month of August, the smallest monthly volume shipped since August 2017. The final month of the 2017/18 crop year, this leads to crop year exports of 4.873 mmt, up roughly 12.9% from the previous crop year and 28.6% higher than the five-year average. At the same time, China was noted as the 12th largest buyer this month at 1,525 mt, after having been shipped an average of 150,000 mt/month during the past two months.
The last month of the 2017/18 row crop year shows 195,404 mt of corn exported, the smallest volume shipped in four months although the largest volume shipped in August in data going back to 2010/11. Crop year exports total 1.845 mmt, 43.5% higher than the previous crop year and 32.4% higher than the five-year average. Four of the top five destinations for Canadian corn were located in Europe in August, taking close to 84% of the total volume.
Canola oil exports totaled 254,034 mt in August, the smallest volume shipped in seven months, but is 29.4% higher than the same month in 2017. A reported 367,162 mt of canola meal was exported in August, down from the previous month, but 14.8% higher than August 2017.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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