Canada Markets

Pace of U.S. Corn Shipments to Canada Ahead of Forecast

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The blue line represents the USDA's reported accumulated corn exports to Canada since September, as plotted against the primary vertical axis. The brown bars represent weekly shipments, as shown against the secondary vertical axis. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

According to USDA data, weekly exports of U.S. corn to Canada totaled 104,600 metric tons in the week ending Jan. 20, while volumes shipped in three of the past four weeks have slipped to a range from 37,300 mt to a high of 68,100 mt. Due the recent shortfall in deliveries, CP is stating that movement will be increased to 10 trains per week from the seven targeted in recent weeks.

As seen on the attached chart, the USDA reports accumulated corn exports to Canada of 1.1899 million metric tons as of Jan. 20, a volume that has been trending sharply higher since early November (blue line against the primary vertical axis). At the same time, outstanding sales are reported at 2.0621 mmt as of Jan. 20 (not shown). The crop year has not reached the half-way point and the government is reporting a total of 3.25 mmt either already exported by the U.S. or on the books and waiting to be shipped.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has estimated 2021-22 Canadian corn imports at 3 mmt, while the USDA recently revised its forecast for Canada's imports from 3 mmt to 3.3 mmt. Higher volumes to be shipped in the upcoming weeks as the industry strives to achieve a cushion of stocks in the west will see outstanding volume fall quickly; in November, Statistics Canada reported 570,414 metric tons imported.

The most recent January Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) forecast shows the volume of wheat disappearance in feed markets falling by 515,000 mt from 2020-21 to 2021-22 and the volume of barley fed falling by 1.771 mmt, volumes to be replaced by corn imports. At the same time, we are close to half-way through the crop year and there are reports that barley is already in tight supply, while the Alberta government is reporting both wheat and barley at a price that is $45/mt and $35/mt higher than corn, respectively, delivered into the southern Alberta market.

Reports exist that corn imports could reach a record of over 5 mmt this crop year, while it seems that the current 3 mmt estimate will fall short of estimating this demand.


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