Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's February supply and demand estimates included a 400,000-metric-ton drop in exports of the grains and oilseeds for 2019-20. Along with that was a 50,000-mt increase in barley exports offset by a 50,000-mt drop in the forecast for flax exports, 100,000-mt drop for both corn and soybean exports, and 200,000-mt drop in forecast wheat exports.
As seen on the attached chart, this is the fourth cut in wheat exports in five months, while the third straight 200,000-mt cut to 18.4 million metric tons, down from the 19.762 mmt shipped in 2018-19.
Even when one ignores the current slowdown in rail movement -- including the slower speeds imposed on trains carrying dangerous goods, along with the blockades that created short-term disruptions on the West Coast along with CN's shutdown in Eastern Canadian operations -- the historical pace of movement would point to further reductions in the forecast for 2019-20 exports ahead.
When monthly data from Statistics Canada is considered as of December, the three-year average pace would project forward to crop year exports of 16.8 mmt and the five-year average pace would project forward to crop year exports of 16.4 mmt.
When the Canadian Grain Commission's week 27 data is considered, or the week ending Feb. 11, an average of 46.8% of crop year exports have been achieved as of this shipping week over the past five years, a pace that would project forward to crop year exports of 17.4 mmt. This is still 1 mmt lower than the current estimate.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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