The Grain Marketing Program's Weekly Performance Update for week 39 pointed to Canada's terminals well positioned for exports. Week 39 grain unloads at the western ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Thunder Bay for the week were 4% higher than the previous four-week average and 11% higher than week 39 of the 2018-19 crop year.
As well, terminal stocks have been trending higher, with week 39 stocks of all grain up 16% from last crop year and 13% above the three-year average. While Prince Rupert stocks were reported 12% lower than 2018-19, Vancouver stocks were reported 17% higher than last year and Thunder Bay stocks were reported 21% higher than 2018-19.
This movement from the country to port positions has contributed to large exports of wheat and durum in week 40, or the week ended May 10. The Canadian Grain Commission reported that Canada exported 755,000 metric tons (mt) of wheat and 204,900 mt of durum in week 40.
As seen on the attached chart, this combined volume of 959,900 metric tons dwarfs all other shipping weeks this crop year (assuming that the week 20-22 volumes were shipped evenly over the three weeks.) It also exceeds all shipping weeks since the 2012-13 crop year, while is likely a record volume for Canada's all-wheat exports in any given week.
Canada's cumulative wheat exports of 12.6438 million metric tons (mmt) is down 9.4% from the same period in 2018-19 and 1.7% higher than the five-year average. Should the pace relative to last year's pace remain steady, crop-year exports can be projected forward to 17.9 mmt, close to the current 18 mmt export forecast released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in April. As well, over the past five years, an average of 69.9% of crop-year exports of wheat has been reported as of the CGC's week 40 report, a pace that could project forward to 18.1 mmt.
Canada's durum exports as of week 40 are reported at 4.017 mmt, up 16.7% from 2018-19 and 13.9% higher than the five-year average for this period. Should the current pace relative to last crop year continue, crop-year exports would project forward to 4.7 mmt, close to the current AAFC forecast of 4.8 mmt. At the same time, over the past five years, roughly 76% of crop year exports were achieved as of the week 40 report, while this would project forward to crop year exports of 5.266 mmt, suggesting stocks could be far tighter than forecast in current government supply and demand tables, which will place even more focus on the 2020 crop.
Terminal wheat inventory as of week 40 is reported at 1.046 mmt, the lowest reported for this week in four years, 5.9% below the same week in 2018-19 and 12.4% below the five-year average. Export terminal stocks of durum are reported at 435,700 mt for week 40, higher than the same week in any of the previous five years. This volume is 23% higher than 2018-19 and 33% higher than the five-year average, which remains supportive for solid exports in the weeks ahead.
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