As of week 15, or the week ending Nov. 14, Canada's cumulative wheat shipments through licensed facilities are on track to reach the current export forecast released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (excluding durum) of 13 million metric tons (mmt). This is the best-case scenario based on the most recent October forecasts that estimates 2021-22 supplies falling by 30.3% from the previous year while exports are estimated down 37% from one year ago. The export forecast also includes unlicensed exports and the export of flour, taking ending stocks to 3 mmt, reported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as the lowest on record.
Week 15 data shows 309,400 metric tons (mt) exported through licensed facilities, the sixth time in the 15 weeks that exports were reported higher than 300,000 mt, while well-above the 252,000 mt needed this week to reach the current forecast, ignoring unlicensed exports and the export of flour. Weekly shipments are shown by the blue bars on the attached chart, with the red line the amount needed each week to reach the government export forecast. These are measured against the primary vertical axis.
The black line represents the steady pace needed each to reach the current 13 mmt forecast. Current cumulative exports of 3.7315 mmt are a modest 18,500 mt below the steady pace needed to reach the forecast, as measured against the secondary vertical axis.
When unlicensed exports are considered, we see that the Canadian Grain Commission reports cumulative licensed sales at 2.472 mmt as of week 9, or the week ending Oct. 3, while Statistics Canada reports 2.642 mmt as of September 30, which points to unlicensed exports of roughly 170,000 mt during the first two months.
Given current forecasts, the industry is very much on track to reach the current target, although is not positioned to meet incremental demand.
As of week 15, or just prior to this week's extreme weather event that led to washouts and flooding that has led to railway closures in British Columbia, wheat stocks were reported at 160,700 mt in Vancouver terminals, which is higher that the three-year average for this week of 151,733 mt. At the same time, Vancouver shipments have averaged 165,367 mt during the past three weeks. Without a further supply of grain hoppers delivered into the Port of Vancouver, vessel loading is limited when you consider the inventory of various grades that makes up the Vancouver terminal stocks.
Canada's situation comes at a time when concerns over wheat exports are growing with Russia potentially poised to add further measures to restrict exports and eastern Australia is facing excessive precipitation that may lead to reduced quality.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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