Statistics Canada reported a $1.12 billion trade deficit in July, which compares to a modest deficit in June and expectations of a $350 million deficit. Imports rose in July while exports fell, a bad combination. In Statistics Canada's written summary, it was noted that exports within the broad farm, fishing and intermediate food products group fell by 5.4% to $3.054 billion, the lowest in five months, while attributed to a sharp drop in wheat exports during July.
The following is a look at miscellaneous July data along with crop year data for 2018-19.
Canada's lentil exports were reported at 189,444 metric tons in July, down from the previous month but looking back, the largest July volume moved in data checked back to 2009-10. India remains the largest buyer, taking 42% of the volume shipped this month. Crop year shipments total 2.031 million metric tons for 2018-19, up 32.1% from the previous crop year and 1.2% higher than the five-year average. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's latest estimates point to 2019-20 exports to fall to 1.8 mmt.
Dry pea exports totaled 296,512 mt in July, the lowest volume shipped in three months, but like lentils, a large volume for the month. China was the largest buyer, taking 79% of the total volume shipped at 233,514 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped to this destination since September 2018. Crop year exports total 3.247 mmt, up 5.3% from the previous crop year and 4.5% higher than the five-year average. AAFC's August estimates point to 2019-20 exports forecast to fall slightly to 3.1 mmt.
Chickpea exports were reported at 7,099 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped in 10 months but the largest July volume shipped in three years. Crop year exports total 146,842 mt, up 30% from the previous crop year and 50% higher than the five-year average. Current government estimates have forecast 2019-20 exports to fall slightly to 130,000 mt.
July canola exports totaled 662,639 mt, the lowest volume shipped in three months. The largest buyers were Japan, the UAE and Mexico, with close to 50% of the month's volume shipped to these three countries. Europe will be one region to watch in the year ahead given the region's need to import, with 198,670 mt shipped to France, Belgium, Germany and Spain in July, up from 39,772 mt shipped in June. A reported 61,515 mt was shipped to China during the month, down slightly from the previous month and down from 381,155 mt shipped in the same month of 2018. Crop year exports are reported at 9.141 mmt, down from 10.8 mmt in 2017-18.
A reported 243,317 mt of canola oil was shipped in July, the smallest monthly movement in five months. Crop year shipments total 3.123 mmt, down .6% from the 2017-18 crop year. Canola meal shipments totaled 434,286 mt, the largest volume shipped in seven months. Crop year exports total 4.643 mmt, up 2.4% from the 2017-18 crop year.
Canada exported 540,317 mt of soybeans in July, the largest volume shipped since December. This is largely due to 201,559 mt of shipments to Iran. Over 11 months of the 2018-19 crop year, exports total 5.117 mmt, on track to surpass the current AAFC forecast of 5.2 mmt for the crop year, 6.8% higher than 2017-18 and 27.9% higher than the five-year average. A modest 6,541 mt was shipped to China over the month, just slightly lower than the volume shipped in the previous month.
Canada's imports of soybeans total 975,357 mt for the first 11 months of the crop year, while will likely fall short of the current AAFC forecast of 1.1 mmt for the crop year but still likely the largest imports on record as U.S. producers seek homes for production given the ongoing trade war with China.
Corn exports in July was reported at 40,978 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped in the first 11 months of the crop year, split almost evenly between shipments to the U.S. and Ireland. Cumulative exports total 1.586 mmt, behind the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC forecast of 2.2 mmt for 2018-19.
Canada's corn imports totaled 257,483 mmt in July, the largest volume imported in three months, while cumulative imports are close to 2.5 mmt, which is equal to AAFC's crop year forecast.
Canada's wheat exports totaled 1.297 mmt in July, down from close to 1.5 mmt in June and the smallest monthly volume shipped in five months. Indonesia and Japan remain the two largest buyers, although volumes shipped fell month-over-month to both countries. Only 16,128 mt of wheat was shipped to China this month, the smallest monthly volume shipped to this destination since July 2018.
Durum exports totaled 321,524 mt in July, the lowest monthly volume shipped in five months. A reported 4.509 mmt was exported over the course of the crop year, up 4.4% from the same period in 2017-18. Over the course of the crop year, a reported 510,860 mt of durum was shipped to Italy, up 32% from the previous crop year. AAFC's current forecast has total durum exports climbing by 200,000 mt to 4.7 mmt in 2019-20.
Flax exports totaled 24,766 mt in July, the lowest volume shipped in four months with China acting as the largest buyer for the month. As far as the month of July goes, the volume shipped in July is the smallest July volume seen for the month in data going back to 2011-12. Over the course of the crop year, a reported 466,171 mt has been exported, above the 400,000 mt forecast by AAFC, while 10% higher than the previous crop year. AAFC's current forecast points to 2019-20 exports climbing to 500,000 mt.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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