A year has gone by since China took action against Canadian canola imports. As of March of this year, total Canadian exports into this market totals 1.163 million metric tons, which compares to 2.9103 mmt as of March 2019 and the three-year August-through-March average of 2.563 mmt over the 2015-16 through 2017-18 period.
When the seasonality of movement into this market is considered, in 2018-19, 91% of total crop year exports to China were realized as of March, or the first two-thirds of the crop year, while over the three-years prior, exports over this period accounted for an average of 61.7%. Crop year projections would point to total exports to China of close to 1.3 mmt based on the 2018-19 pace, while roughly 1.9 mmt based on the 2015-16 through 2018-19 average pace, highly unlikely given the current pace of movement.
It is interesting to note that in March 2020, exports to China were reported at 367,800 metric tons, the largest volume reported for any single destination this month representing 32.3% of the total volume shipped for the month. This was the largest monthly volume shipped to this country since Dec. 2018, the largest percentage of monthly exports achieved since Dec. 2018 and the first time that China was reported as the largest single-month destination since March 2019.
When compared to 2018-19, March export data released by the CGC shows the year-over-year increase in volumes shipped to 12 countries offsetting year-over-year losses to four others by a narrow 17,500 mt. The largest year-over-year change in export volumes shipped to any country is China, reported at 1.7473 mmt, which represents 95% of the lost volume reported in the year-over-year sales data.
While this trade dispute remains far from resolved, it is encouraging to see slightly higher volumes pushed in this direction while also growing business with European and Middle East markets.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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