Statistics Canada's Canadian international merchandise trade report for November showed exports of all merchandise increased by 0.5% and imports fell by 0.3%, with the country's trade deficit down from $3.7 billion to $3.3 billion, the lowest reported in three months. The agency reports exports of gold playing a major role in November export data.
Canada exported 234,330 metric tons of lentils in November, the smallest volume shipped in three months, but the largest November volume shipped in four years. The largest destination was India, with 42% of this volume shipped, while the next largest was the U.A.E, where 15% of the volume was shipped. Year-to-date, 1.028 million metric tons has been shipped, up 52.3% from last crop year and 24.2% higher than the five-year average. Cumulative exports account for 35.4% of the current 2.9 mmt export forecast from AAFC, slightly ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Dry pea exports totaled 211,905 mt, also the lowest volume shipped in three months and the smallest November shipments in three years. China maintained its dominance as the top destination in November with 75% of the volume shipped to this destination. Year-to-date, 1.534 million metric tons has been shipped, up 10.2% from last crop year and 15.9% higher than the five-year average for this period. To-date, 40.4% of the current 3.8 mmt target has been achieved, ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
A reported 9,543 mt of chickpeas were exported during the month, the second-highest monthly volume shipped so far this crop year. Cumulative shipments of 33,302 mt are 6.3% higher than the same period last crop year while reflecting 76.4% of the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports are 31.7% of the current Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada forecast of 105,000 mt, slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Mustard exports totaled 9,850 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in seven months. Cumulative shipments of 34,984 mt represent 93.7% of the 2019-20 volume and is 91% of the five-year average, reflecting 31.8% of the current 110,000 demand forecast from AAFC and just slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Canary seed exports totaled 20,535 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in 11 months. Cumulative exports of 53,399 are just 0.8% higher than achieved in the same period in 2019-20 and are 5.8% higher than the five-year average. Cumulative exports are just slightly ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC forecast of 155,000 mt.
Flax exports totaled 43,438 mt in November, the largest volume moved in three months, with Belgium the largest destination taking 50% of the volume. Cumulative exports of 131,768 mt are up 167.6% from the same period in 2019-20, while 7% higher than the five-year average. AAFC revised higher its forecast for 2020-21 exports by 50,000 mt to 500,000 mt in December, while current exports account for 26.4% of this forecast, behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Soybean exports totaled 947,389 mt this month, the largest monthly exports in two years, with China the largest destination although this volume only represented 12.5% of the total with the month's business that was spread across 44 countries. It's interesting to note that the last large month of shipments was in November 2018, where 92% of the 1.518 mmt volume was shipped to China. Crop year exports (since September) totals 1.962 mmt, up 66% from the previous crop year while representing 95.8% of the five-year average. AAFC increased its export forecast by 200,000 mt in December to 4.4 mmt, while cumulative exports represent 44.6% of this volume and well-ahead of the cumulative pace needed to reach this forecast.
Canada's soybean imports totaled 35,923 mt in November, the lowest in three months. Cumulative imports of 113,537 mt represents 28.4% of the 400,000 mt forecast by AAFC.
Canada exported 147,560 mt of corn in November, the largest volume in five months, with 86% of this volume shipped to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Cumulative exports total 224,180 mt, up 239% from the same period in 2019-20 and 11% from the five-year average. In December, AAFC increased its estimate of Canada's corn exports for 2020-21 from 850,000 mt to 1.3 mmt, while current movement is behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
AAFC justified a higher forecast for corn exports based on a 400,000 mt upward revision for 2020-21 corn imports in December to 1.5 mmt. Interestingly, November imports were reported at 98,893 mt, the smallest monthly volume imported in 12 months, while cumulative imports of 414,495 mt (September-November) represent 27.6% of this total and are ahead of the pace needed to reach this volume.
Canada exported 264,210 mt of canola oil in November, down only slightly from the previous month. Cumulative exports of 1.052 mmt represent 96.6% of the volume shipped in the first four months of 2019-20 and 99.1% of the three-year average.
Canola meal exports totaled 417,199 mt in November, down from the 500,114 mt shipped in October that may represent a record monthly movement. Year-to-date, 1.678 mmt has been shipped, 5.2% higher than last year and 10.6% higher than the three-year average.
Canada's ethanol imports in Nov. totaled 127 million litres, unchanged from the previous month and up 30.9% from November 2019. Imports over the January-through-November period total 1.128 billion litres, down 7.3% from the same 11-month period in 2019 and is down 11.6% from the three-year average.
Canola exports in November totaled 1.273 mmt, the highest monthly volume shipped this crop year and 39% higher than the same month in 2019. Of this volume, 60% was shipped to Japan, China and France, all shipped a similar volume with the largest share shipped to France. Total volumes shipped to the EU, including France, total 386,531 mt, or 30% of the total volume.
Wheat exports in November totaled 1.608 mmt, down from the volume shipped in October. The largest volume shipped during the month was to China, at 212,902 mt. Durum exports during the month were reported at 789,206 mt, which could possibly be a record monthly volume of durum shipped while up 56% from the same month in 2019-20. A reported 53% of this volume was shipped to Italy, up sharply from the previous month and exceptionally high for this market.
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