Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed by $717 million to $983 million in February, with an increase in exports noted along with a decline in imports reported.
There were a number of moving pieces in this month's data, with rail blockades slowing or blocking movement, the growing coronavirus threat around the world slowing exports while the Canadian dollar lost over one cent against the U.S. dollar during the month. Exports reported for the broad Farm, fishing and intermediate food products dipped only slightly for the month to $3.1846 billion, close to the highest dollar value reported since August.
Each month we look at miscellaneous crop and product data found in this report.
Canada exported 253,369 metric tons of lentils during February, the largest volume shipped in five months and the largest February shipments found in data checked to 2009-10.
A reported 35.4% of this volume was shipped to India, with the volume to this country up for a second month and the largest volume shipped to India since September.
During the first seven months of the crop year, exports total 1.268 million metric tons, up 6% from the same period in 2018-19 although down 10% from the five-year average. This volume represents 60.4% of the current AAFC export target of 2.1 mmt and is ahead of the pace needed to reach this forecast with data covering seven months or 58.3% of the crop year.
Exports of dry peas were reported up in February to 301,554 mt, a large volume for this month based on historical data. Exports to China totaled 187,679 mt or 62.2% of the total, the highest volume shipped to this country in three months. Year-to-date exports total 2.236 mmt, up 22.2% from the previous crop year and 13.7% higher than the five-year average. This volume represents 63.9% of the current 3.5 mmt export target, well-ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this target. The trend in dry pea exports is seen on the attached chart, while could lead to tighter stocks than the 425,000 mt currently forecast.
Chickpea exports totaled 10,444 mt in February, up for a second month and the highest volume reported in three months. Year-to-date exports total 57,837 mt, down 27% from 2018-19 and down 20% from the five-year average. Year-to-date exports represent 44.5% of the current 130,000 mt forecast released by AAFC, well-behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.
Mustard exports dipped for a second month in February, reported at 8,383 mt, with the largest share destined for the United States while Belgium remains the second largest buyer. Year-to-date exports of 64,000 mt are down 8% from last year and are 6.4% below the five-year average. This volume represents 53.3% of the current 120,000 mt target released by AAFC, behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Canary seed exports are reported at 10,606 mt, up from the previous month while the second-lowest monthly volume shipped this crop year. Mexico remains the top destination, with 41.6% of the volume shipped to this country and the largest volume shipped to this destination in four months. Year-to-date exports total 97,107 mt, up 11.6% from the same period last crop year and 13.7% higher than the five-year average. This volume represents 61.4% of the current export forecast of 158,000 mt, slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach this volume.
Flax exports were reported at 23,801 mt in February, up from the previous month while the smallest February shipments reported in eight years. It is reported that 62% of this volume was destined for China, although CGC data for the month of February shows the volume shipped to China falling by 40% from 2018-19. Year-to-date exports are down 38.5% from last year and 53% from the five-year average, while represent 39% of the current 400,000 mt forecast released by AAFC. This is well behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Soybean exports were reported at 155,037 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped in five months and well below the 837,093 shipped in November. Belgium returned as the largest buyer for the second time in three months, while a minimal volume of 14,820 mt was shipped to China, which was the largest monthly volume shipped to this country since Dec. 2018. Year-to-date exports total 2.413 mmt, down 36.6% from last year and down 25.6% from the five-year average. This volume represents 56% of the current 4.3 mmt forecast set by AAFC, ahead of the pace needed to reach this target with February representing the first half of the crop year.
Canola oil exports were reported at 245,794 mt, the lowest monthly movement this crop year and highly likely a victim of the rail blockades that effected rail movement over the month. Year-to-date movement totals 1.930 mmt, up 8.5% from the previous year and 9.2% higher than the three-year average.
Canola meal exports totaled 339,837 mt in February, also the lowest monthly volume shipped this crop year, with rail movement also likely hampered by the February blockades. Year-to-date exports total 2.77 mmt, 5% higher than last year and 5% higher than the three-year average.
Corn exports were reported at 22,563 mt, the smallest volume shipped in four months although by a narrow margin, while the smallest February movement in five years. Cumulative exports are shown at 145,166 mt since September, while a pace that is well behind the pace needed to reach the AAFC's current export forecast of 1 mmt.
DTN 360 Poll
This week's poll asks what you think of the conflicting reports on March 31 on Canada's canola trade with China and how this might affect your seeding intentions. We look forward to your ideas on this poll, located on your DTN Home Page.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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