Statistics Canada reported January's exports to fall by 2% while imports fell by 0.5%, with the country's trade deficit increasing from $732 million in December to $1.5 billion in January, the largest in three months.
Exports reported for the board farm, fishing and intermediate food products category were reported at $3.1994 billion, the highest reported in five months. Total exports were pegged at $48.1 billion and the lowest monthly exports reported in 11 months.
Here is a look at miscellaneous trade data for crops and products, with a focus on those crops that receive less attention in the government's weekly statistics.
Canada's lentil exports totaled 204,617 metric tons in January, the highest volume shipped in four months but below the volume shipped in Jan. 2019. India was the largest buyer at 59,874 mt, also the largest volume shipped to this destination in four months. Year-to-date exports total 1.015 million metric tons, 5% higher than the same period last crop year buy only 81% of the five-year average. This represents 48.3% of the 2.1 mmt forecast released by AAFC in February, just slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.
Dry pea exports in January were reported at 195,566 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped since August while the highest January volume shipped in three years. China was the largest buyer in January, with 56.5% of the volume shipped to this country, while big drops were seen month-over-month in shipments to the U.A.E. and to Bangladesh. Year-to-date pea exports total 1.934 mmt, up 23.4% from the same period in 2018-19, while is 10.2% higher than the five-year average. This volume represents 55.3% of the current AAFC export forecast of 3.5 mmt, while slightly ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Exports of chickpeas were reported at 8,701 mt in January, up from the previous month while the lowest January exports in five years. Year-to-date exports total 47,394 mt, roughly two-thirds of the volume shipped in the same period of 2018-19 and 74% of the five-year average. This volume represents 36.5% of the current 130,000 mt export forecast released by AAFC, well-behind the pace needed to reach this target.
Mustard exports totaled 8,560 mt in January, the lowest volume shipped in four months and the lowest January volume shipped in three years. Year-to-date exports total 55,654 mt, down 5% from the same period last crop year and is 96.4% of the five-year average for this period. This volume represents 46.4% of the current 120,000 mt export target released by AAFC in February, only slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.
Canary seed exports were reported at 8,838 mt for the month, the lowest monthly volume shipped in the six months of this crop year while the lowest January exports seen in seven years. Over the first six months, 86,436 mt have been exported, up 15.6% from the same period in 2018-19 and 14.4% higher than the five-year average. This cumulative volume represents 54.7% of the current AAFC export forecast of 158,000 mt, a volume that was revised 21.5% higher in February, while movement is ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this revised target.
Flax exports totaled 21,680 mt in January, down sharply from the previous month and the lowest January movement seen in eight years. Over the first six months, flax exports total 131,594 mt, 58.9% of the volume shipped in the first six months of 2018-19 and 45.2% of the five-year average. AAFC lowered its crop year forecast by 50,000 mt to 400,000 mt in February, while cumulative exports total only 33% of this target and well-behind the steady pace needed to reach this target. Competitive pressures have led to reduced volume shipped to China this crop year, with cumulative shipments at 48,613 mt, down 62% year-over-year.
Soybean exports were reported at 262,023 mt in January, down sharply from the 782,836 mt shipped the previous month, while the lowest volume shipped in three months although more than double the volume shipped in January 2019. A minimal 2,529 mt was shipped to China in January. In December 2018, Canada shipped 718,115 mt to China, while has shipped just 58,267 mt in the 13 months since as relations have chilled between the countries. For the second month, Iran was the largest buyer of Canadian soybeans. Exports in the five months of the row-crop crop year (September-through-January) shows 2.226 mmt shipped, 60% of the volume shipped in the same period of 2018-19, 75% of the five-year average and the lowest volume of shipments for this period in eight years.
In February, AAFC lowered its forecast for crop year exports of soybeans by 100,000 mt to 4.3 mmt, while current exports account for 51.8% of this forecast and ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this volume. Year-to-date imports of soybeans are reported at 116,259 mt, down 82% from the same period in 2018-19 representing a far-lesser threat to Canada's market this crop year.
Canada's corn exports continue at an anemic pace this crop year, with a reported 29,490 mt shipped in January. This is the lowest January volume shipped in five years and down 45% from the same month in 2019. Almost all of this volume was shipped to the U.S. Cumulative exports of corn account for only 19.2% of the volume shipped in the same period in 2018-19 and 29.5% of the five-year average. AAFC lowered their corn export volume forecast by 100,000 mt in February to 1.3 mmt, while cumulative shipments account for less than 10% of this forecast with data covering the first 41.7% of the crop year.
In the first five months of the 2019-20 row crop crop year, Canada's corn imports total 620,346 mt, down 42.8% from the same period in 2018-19 and down 7.8% from the five-year average.
Exports of oats totaled 153,129 mt in January. Cumulative exports total 1.046 mmt, up 8.3% from the same period in 2018-19 and 11.4% higher than the five-year average. Year-to-date exports represent 40.2% of the current AAFC target of 2.6 mmt, although this forecast also includes the export of oat products.
Exports of canola oil totaled 310,069 mt, up 8.6% from December and the largest volume shipped in 14 months. Exports of crude oil to China surged in January to 93,768 mt, the largest volume shipped since April 2019. Cumulative volume shipped to all destinations is 1.684 mmt, up 7.2% from last crop year and 10.7% higher than the three-year average, supporting an active crush.
Exports of soymeal are reported at 405,095 mt for the month, the lowest in three months, while cumulative exports through the first half of the crop year total 2.430 mmt, 3.2% higher than the same period last crop year and 4.7% higher than the three-year average.
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