While it is early in the crop year, cumulative exports through licensed facilities and reported in the Canadian Grain Commission's Week 5 Grain Statistics Weekly point to exports of two crops off to a quick start in 2019-20.
Over the first five weeks of this crop year, or as of the week ending Sept. 8, 495,500 metric tons (mt) of durum has been exported. This volume is up 80.3% from the same period in 2018-29, 40.3% higher than the five-year average and the largest cumulative volume shipped in five years. AAFC's August forecasts indicate that global stocks of durum are forecast to fall by 1.2 million metric tons (mmt) to 8.2 mmt which would be the lowest stocks realized since 2014-15. At the same, unfavorable harvest weather on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border may lead to concerns over quality over the year ahead. Over the past five years, week 5 licensed exports averaged 7.5% of crop-year exports, a pace that would project forward to exports of over 6 mmt, a volume that will likely prove to exceed crop-year supplies. The point is that someone wants durum, and early.
Over this same period, 867,400 mt of canola has been exported, up 48.3% from the same period last crop year and 33.9% higher than the five-year average for this week. This appears to be the highest volume ever shipped as of this week. Time will tell whether movement has resumed to China, while it is expected that the European Union will be a valuable outlet in the crop year ahead. European Union data for the first 11 weeks of their crop year (July 1 through Sept. 15) shows 1.579 mmt of rapeseed/canola imported, up 120% from the same period in 2018-19. A further breakdown shows 81.6% of this volume from Ukraine and 12.8% from Canada, which could quickly result in Ukraine supplies to be quickly tapped.
Over the past five years, an average of 6.4% of total crop-year exports were shipped as of week 5, a pace that would project forward to a record 13.5 mmt of exports, again a volume unlikely to be reached as Canada struggles to regain access to China and positions for movement into other destinations. The USDA has estimated Canada's export potential at 10.2 mmt, while AAFC's August forecast points to a potential for 9 mmt.
Early in the crop year, week 5 licensed exports of spring wheat total 1.6288 mmt, down 3% from last crop year and 6.9% below the five-year average. Over the past five years, week 5 cumulative exports through licensed facilities accounted for 9.9% of total crop-year exports, a pace that projects forward to 16.4 mmt of crop-year exports, below the current AAFC estimate of 18.9 mmt.
Using the same logic, crop-year projections for exports of oats, barley, flax and peas are all well below current government projections due to a slow start to the crop-year's exports. Dry peas could be viewed as an exception, with cumulative exports of 213,300 mt over the five weeks up 204% from the same period in 2018-19 while 21.3% below the five-year average.
AAFC's export demand estimates should be updated sometime this week.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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