Despite concerns of a late harvest, which will have resulted in downgraded crops in some areas, results from the Canadian Grain Commission's sampling program and also terminal receipts of CWRS fail to show reason for concern.
Also, Canadian Grain Commission's week 12 data, or the week ending Oct. 21, continue to show Canada's export program at a pace which is ahead of recent years.
As of week 12, Canada's wheat exports through licensed facilities are reported at 4.4557 million metric tons, up 1.037 mmt or 30.3% from the same week in 2017/18. This volume is the highest reported in the past four years for this week, and is 15% higher than the five-year average for this week. It also remains ahead of the pace needed to reach AAFC's recent 18-mmt export target, recently revised 600,000 mt higher.
As of Oct. 23, the CGC's Harvest of Canada Western Spring Wheat 2018 report shows 88% of all Western Canada samples grading a 1 CWRS or a 2 CWRS. This varies from 98% of Manitoba submitted samples grading in the top two grades, 80.6% of the Saskatchewan samples and 68% of the Alberta samples graded in the top two grades. A total of 3,661 samples have been graded to-date, or 69% of the 5,276 samples graded in the 2017/18 program.
The mean protein reported for Western Canada samples grading 1 CWRS is reported at 13.83%, while is reported to average at 13.73% across all grades. Proteins are reported to average at 13.98% in Manitoba, 13.33% in Saskatchewan and 14.01% in Alberta and B.C., across all grades.
It is important to note that the CGC does caution that data reported does not include samples received in the two weeks prior to the report date. Those recent samples would include some of the later-harvested crops that will have quality deterioration. As well, the CGC program is not designed to show "actual production distributions" across the grades and regions of the Prairies.
Another positive signal is the grades reported in the terminal receipts data in the weekly Grain Statistics Weekly report. As of week 12, cumulative wheat unloads at licensed terminal elevators for the top three grades of CWRS, as well as Feed CW, total 4.8 mmt. This is the largest volume unloaded in this period over the past four years and is 20% higher than the five-year average. Of this volume, 97.6% was reported as a No. 1 CWRS or a No. 2 CWRS, as indicated by the blue-shaded and brown-shaded areas of the attached graphic.
Weekly data for week 12 shows similar data, with a total of 367,400 mt unloaded, of which 92.2% graded in the top two grades.
Over the past five years, licensed exports as of week 12 averaged 22% of total crop year exports. Given the pace of exports this crop year, this five-year average pace would project to crop year exports of 20.2 mmt, well above the current 18-mmt forecast released by AAFC. Quality could be a limiting factor as the crop year progresses.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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