Canada Markets

Canada's Wheat Exports to Australia to Continue

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canada shipped two vessels of milling wheat to Australia in May 2019 and one per month through December. This movement is expected to continue. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Canadian Grain Commission's Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour report for December includes a shipment of 60,100 metric tons of Canadian high protein hard red spring wheat to Australia, the eighth consecutive month of shipments reported.

Movement began in May with 120,334 mt reported by Statistics Canada, while close to 60,000 mt has been shipped to Canada's global export competitor each month since May.

DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson views this as "tangible evidence of the impact of drought Down Under," while this also speaks to the sheer size of the country after media reports earlier in the week discussed the rapid pace of wheat exports from Western Australia and recent news of sales made by Australia to China.

On Friday, the USDA's release of the Grain and Feed Update for Australia estimated the country's 2019-20 production at 15 million metric tons, down 2.3 mmt from the previous crop year, 40% below the 10-year average and the lowest since 2007-08. It is interesting to note that this attache report estimate at 15 mmt is 600,000 mt lower that the official USDA estimate of 15.5 mmt.

A media report from Graincental.com is indicating that yet another vessel of Canadian wheat is expected in February, signaling the likelihood of January shipment from Canada or the ninth consecutive month of movement. Current indications are that 2020 imports from Canada will equal the 2019 volume or even exceed it, depending on rains received over eastern growing areas of the country.

As reported by Graincentral.com, Australia's Manildra Group, the largest user of wheat in the country, has stated to customers that wheat imports from Canada will continue in 2020. Imports in 2019 and 2020 were the first time in the company's 67-year history that drought conditions have forced the import of wheat.

The USDA's January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report shows 2019-20 stocks in the hands of the eight major exporters -- Argentina, Australia, Canada, European Union, United States, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan -- is forecast to fall to 21% of estimated total global stocks, down from 22.7% in the previous crop year and down for a third consecutive year. This is down from 37.7% reported at the start of the decade or in 2009-10, while has fallen in five of the past six years.

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

Follow him on Twitter @CliffJamieson

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