In the month of September, both Canada's imports and exports rose by 1.5%, with Canada's trade deficit with the world increasing by $100 million to $3.3 billion, increasing for a fourth month and to the largest deficit in five months.
On the export side, the agency noted increasing lumber exports for a fifth straight month, while an increase in crude oil imports from the U.S. Gulf led the increase in imports. Exports of $3.7 billion were notched on the broad farm, fishing and intermediate food products category, up slightly from August and just slightly below the four-month average.
Here we look at miscellaneous agricultural products that are not covered or not fully covered in weekly Canadian Grain Commission statistics.
Exports of lentils were reported at 349,583 metric tons, the largest monthly volume shipped in five months and the largest September volume shipped in five years. The extension of India's reduced import tariff of 10% through the end of October (now through the end of December) was a contributing factor, with one-third of this volume shipped to India with a further 31.2% of the volume shipped to Turkey. Crop year exports total 436,064 metric tons, up 12.6% from the same two months on 2019-20 and 31% higher than the five-year average. AAFC revised its export forecast 400,000 mt higher in October to 2.8 mmt, slightly below the 2019-20 volume shipped, while the current volume is only slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Canada's dry pea exports totaled 762,659 mt in October, which is a record volume shipped in a single month. A reported 86% of this volume was shipped to China at 656,770 mt, with Bangladesh a distant second at 50,445 mt. Year-to-date, 888,491 mt has been shipped, the largest cumulative volume in four years, up 33% from 2019-20 and 15.9% above the five-year average. AAFC left its forecast unchanged at 3.8 mmt for 2020-21 this month, up only slightly from last crop year, while the current pace of movement is ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Chickpea exports in September totaled 9,920 mt, the highest in five months while the highest September movement in three years. The largest destination was Pakistan at 32% of this volume, while September was the first time in five months that Pakistan was shipped more than the volume destined for the United States. Over the first two months of the crop year, 16,534 mt has been shipped, 29.7% higher than the same period in 2019-20 and 19.8% higher than the five-year average. AAFC revised its export forecast lower by 20,000 mt in October to 105,000 mt, while the pace of movement is slightly behind the pace needed to reach this forecast.
Flax exports totaled 9,580 mt in Sept, the lowest volume shipped in 11 months, up from September 2019 but 59% below the four-year average for this month. A reported 68% of this volume was shipped to the U.S., while the volume shipped to China fell sharply this month to just 1,145 mt, the lowest volume shipped to this country since September 2019. Year-to-date exports total 55,383 mt, up 57.6% from the same period last crop year and while representing 92% of the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports represent 12.3% of the current 450,000 mt export target, slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Soybean exports were reported at 203,902 mt in the month of September, the largest volume shipped in three months and the largest September volume ever shipped. A reported 34% of this volume was shipped to Iran, who has been the top destination for four consecutive months, while 17% of this volume was shipped to Algeria. A reported 34,413 mt was shipped to China, the largest volume shipped to this destination in four months. September shipments were 42.3% higher than the same month in 2019 and is 30.5% higher than the five-year average, while is slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach the current forecast of 4.2 mmt.
Canada's soybean imports totaled 38,073 mt in September, the largest monthly volume imported in 13 months. AAFC has forecast 400,000 mt of soybean imports for 2020-21, while this month's imports were slightly higher than the steady volume needed to reach this forecast.
Corn exports in September totaled 23,544 mt, the lowest volume shipped in seven months. Very close to the entire volume was shipped to the U.S., while Sept. exports are up 25.2% from September 2019, while representing 55.2% of the five-year average. The current AAFC forecast is 1 mmt, while cumulative shipments are behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Corn imports for the month totaled 191,660 mt, the largest volume in 13 months, while ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current import forecast of 1 mmt, which was reduced by 400,000 mt in the recent October forecast.
Canada exported 218,768 mt of canola oil in September, the smallest monthly volume shipped in 19 months. Year-to-date, exports are reported at 523,095 mt, 97% of the same period in 2019-20 and 6.7% higher than the three-year average for this period.
Canola meal exports for September were reported at 328,168 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped in 23 months. Year-to-date exports total 761,125 mt, 95% of the volume shipped in the same period last crop year and 2.5% higher than the three-year average.
Canada's ethanol imports totaled 116 million litres for the month of September. The January-through-September imports total 874 million litres, down 2.5% from the same nine-month period in 2019.
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