Canada Markets

A Look at Statistics Canada's January Cereal Data

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The Canadian Grain Commission reports durum exports to Italy in the first six months of the crop year falling for four consecutive years, from 861,100 metric tons in 2014-15 accounting for 31.7% of total exports to 249,800 mt, or 14.7%, of total exports in the current 2018-19 crop year. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

A United States reader commented on Wednesday's Canada markets blog and the lack of focus on cereal data. The ongoing rationale behind this is that the Canadian Grain Commission's Grain Statistics Weekly, released Thursday evening, as well as the monthly Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour report cover the largest share of cereal exports, while are more current and receive the majority of the focus.

Just the same, here is a look at the delayed January data released on March 27 as it relates to wheat, durum, oats and barley movement for the August-through-January period, or the first half of the Canadian crop year.

The January report shows wheat exports of 1.606 million metric tons, the lowest monthly shipments in five months and slightly lower than the volume shipped in January 2018. Shipments were recorded to 29 countries, with just five countries being shipped more than 100,000 mt each, while accounting for close to 40% of the total volume. The largest volume was shipped to Japan of 266,514 metric tons, although the Grain Commission reports August-through-January movement to this country at 871,400 mt, up only .09% from the same period in 2017-18.

Year-to-date, 10.009 mmt of wheat has been shipped to all destinations, up 14.4% from the previous crop year and 48% higher than the previous three year average. This compares to the 9.469 mmt being reported in the CGC's January Export of Grain and Wheat Flour report, with the difference accounted for in the export of grain through unlicensed facilities. Over this period, the largest volume was shipped to Indonesia of 1.1975 mmt, up 43% from the previous crop year, while China is a close second at 1.1071 mmt, up 149% from the previous crop year.

Given AAFC's current 18.7 mmt export forecast for the crop year, exports as of January remain ahead of the pace needed to reach this volume.

Canada's durum exports in the month of January are reported at 229,077 mt, down sharply from the previous month and the lowest January volume shipped since 2012. The largest volume shipped this month was to the U.S. of 101,126 mt, 44% of the total volume and the largest monthly volume shipped to this country since July 2018.

Year-to-date, durum shipments total 1.790 mmt, down 17.7% from the previous year and 19.4% below the three-year average. Over this period, exports to Italy total 249,800 mt, according to the CGC, down 11.8% from the same period in 2017-18 while shipments to Italy in the first half of the crop year have fallen for four consecutive years. As of January, the cumulative pace of shipments is behind the steady pace needed to reach AAFC's current export forecast of 4.1 mmt for the 2018-19 crop year.

Oat exports were reported at 108,942 mt in January, the lowest monthly volume shipped this crop year and the lowest January volume shipped in five years. Close to the entire volume was shipped to the U.S., while far lesser volumes were shipped to countries such as Japan and South Korea. As of January, the CGC reports that 955,404 mt has been shipped to all destinations, up a modest 2.9% from the same period in 2017-18 and 1.3% higher than the five-year average. AAFC has forecast total exports to reach 2.5 mmt, including grain products.

Barley exports are reported at 216,677 mt in January, down from the volume shipped in December, but the largest January volume shipped in three years. The largest share, or 45.8% of the total, was shipped to Japan, with this country alternating with China each month over four consecutive months as the No. 1 and No. 2 destinations. Cumulative exports total 1.236 mmt, up 21.8% from 2017-18. AAFC has forecast exports to reach 2.7 mmt, including grain products.

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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @Cliff Jamieson

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