The Canadian Grain Commission's week 16 Grain Statistics Weekly, covering activity for the week ending Nov. 18, shows weekly exports of barley of 105,400 metric tons, by far the largest weekly volume shipped so far this crop year. This is well-above the 36,200 mt shipped in the same week last crop year, as well as the five-year average of 27,254 mt shipped in the same week. Cumulative exports are reported at 634,100 mt, up 17% from the same period last crop year and up 53.3% from the five-year average for the first 16 weeks.
This week, the International Grains Council estimated world barley production to fall 4% in 2018/19 to a six-year low of 139.6 million metric tons. At the same time the council forecast both China and Saudi Arabia will increase usage while global trade is forecast 500,000 mt higher at 30 mmt (excluding malt), or 6% higher than the five-year average. The latest accessible IGC estimates suggest that global stocks will fall to 23-year lows in 2018-19.
Commercial stocks in Canada are reported at 399,400 mt for week 16, up 47% from the same week in 2017-18 and 62% higher than the five-year average for this week. Stocks are concentrated largely in Vancouver terminals (26.7%) and in prairie elevators (45.1%), which will support further export movement.
Earlier in the week, the Chinese government announced an investigation into Australia's barley exports that may include shipments as far back as 2014. China is reported to buy as much as 2 mmt-to-3 mmt of Australian barley and as much as an additional 4 mmt of feed barley, the largest exports of any grain in Australia. This bears watching, while further exports from Canada will be restricted only by supplies.
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