Canada Markets

Canada's Largest Customers Boost Imports

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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As of June 2021, or the first 11 months of the crop year, the CGC reports that Canada has increased durum exports to Italy by 43.7% from the previous crop year. Canada has also increased exports of wheat, barley, canola, and dry peas to China, the largest destination for these crops, by the percentage shown. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Canadian Grain Commission's June Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour Report includes export data for five crops that stand out from others. As seen on the attached chart, the cumulative 2020-21 volume shipped to the largest customer has shown substantial growth from the 2019-20 crop year for the five crops shown.

Of the 5.616 million metric tons of durum exported during the first 11 months of the 2020-21 crop year, or through the end of June, the largest destination is Italy, with 1.466 million metric tons shipped. This is the third straight year that exports to this destination have grown, while as seen on the attached graphic, this volume has increased by 43.7% in 2020-21.

China is the largest destination in 2020-21 for exports of Canadian wheat (101%), barley (166%), canola (47.8%) and dry peas (14.5%), with the year-over-year percent increase in volume shown in brackets, also indicating a significant jump in demand from the 2019-20 crop year.

Another interesting consideration is the volumes shipped to the largest buyers this crop year as a percentage of total exports. Shipments of wheat to China represents 15.5% of total exports during the first 11 months, shipments of canola to China represents 25.5% of total exports and exports of durum to Italy represents 26.1% of total exports. At the same time, the exports of dry peas and barley are much more concentrated, with 73.3% of peas exported destined for China while 95.4% of barley exports were shipped to China.

DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman asks an important question in a recent Todd's Take, titled How Much Corn Will China Import? (…) While no one knows, current USDA demand estimates indicate that China's wheat imports will fall by 500,000 mt to 10 mmt in the crop year ahead, while still close to the highest volume imported since 1995-96. Canola imports are forecast to fall by 400,000 mt to 2.8 mmt. The USDA is forecasting China's barley imports to increase by 600,000 mt to a record 10.6 mmt.

A smaller Canadian crop will lead to lower exports during the upcoming 2021-22 crop year, while it will be interesting to see if exports become even more concentrated to the largest export destinations.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at

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