Canada's merchandise trade in January saw a significant 7.4% drop in imports and a modest 0.2% drop in exports, resulting in a swing back into a surplus position. Statistics Canada reported a $2.6 billion trade surplus in January, the largest monthly surplus reported since 2008.
Canada's statistics agency noted the volume of exports falling by 4.6% close to being offset by higher export prices. The export of energy products increased by 8.7% in January, with a 66.4% increase in natural gas exports and a 50.7% increase in coal exports.
January lentil exports totaled 47,074 metric tons, the smallest monthly volume shipped since July 2017. The largest volume was shipped to the United Arab Emirates at 9,908 mt, while 6,098 mt was shipped to the United States. Cumulative exports total 832,446 mt, down 36% from 2020-21 and 27% below the five-year average, while exports account for 49% of the crop year forecast, close to being on track to achieving the current 1.7 million metric ton forecast.
Chickpea exports totaled 5,731 mt in January, with the largest share destined for the U.S., the smallest monthly volume shipped since September 2019. Cumulative exports total 52,761 mt, 5.2% higher than the same period last crop year while 18.3% below the five-year average. Cumulative exports account for 32% of the current 165,000 mt export forecast that was revised 5,000 mt higher in February, well-behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Dry pea exports in January totaled 40,993 mt, the smallest monthly export volume seen in data checked to 2010-11. More than 50% of this volume was shipped to the U.S., or 22,677 mt. During the six months of this crop year, exports total 1.038 mmt, down 51% from the same period last crop year and down 44% from the five-year average. Exports have reached 49.4% of the 2.1 mmt Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) forecast, while on track to reach this forecast if supplies remain available.
Mustard exports totaled 6,588 mt in January, the lowest monthly volume shipped since July 2016. A reported 49% of this volume was shipped to the U.S., while much smaller volumes were shipped to numerous other countries. Cumulative exports total 51,292 mt, down 5.6% from 2020-21 and 8.6% below the five-year average for this period. An estimated 64% of the current 80,000 mt export forecast has been achieved in six months, a sign of concern across buyers that will test the forecast available supplies long before the end of July or the end of the crop year. This export forecast was revised 10,000 mt higher in AAFC's February estimates.
Canary seed exports totaled 14,731 mt in January, down from the 24,987 mt shipped in December but still the second-highest volume shipped in the six months of this crop year and the highest January volume shipped in data going back to 2020-11. Of this volume, the largest destination is Mexico at 3,696 mt or 25% of the total volume. Cumulative exports total 82,926 mt, 6.5% higher than the same period last crop year and 10.6% higher than the five-year average. Like some other smaller crops, concern over supplies is obvious, with 69% of the forecast exports of 120,000 mt shipped in the first six months of the crop year.
Flax exports totaled 18,136 mt in January, the lowest volume shipped in four months and the lowest January exports in 10 years. Approximately 55% of this volume was shipped to the U.S., with an additional 29.5% shipped to China. Over six months, exports total 128,847 mt, down 52% from the same period last crop year and down 45.6% from the five-year average. In February, AAFC reduced its forecast of crop year exports by 25,000 mt to 300,000 mt, while 42.9% of this forecast has been realized, behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast. Exports to China have been a significant factor, with exports of 28,364 mt during the first six months, down 68.2% from 2020-21 and 68% below the average of the past three years.
Canada's soybean exports totaled 316,020 mt, falling for a third month and to the lowest volume in four months. Iran was shipped 42.6% of this volume, while Italy was shipped 26.2% and China was shipped 6.8% of the total volume. During the first five months of the row crop crop year, exports total 3.202 mmt, down 2.2% from the same period in 20-21 and 0.9% higher than the five-year average. AAFC reduced its soybean export forecast by 200,000 mt in February to 4 mmt, while cumulative exports have reached 80% of this forecast, well ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Corn exports in the month of January were reported at 59,100 mt, down sharply from the previous month while the December volume was revised higher. Based on value, 54.4% was shipped to Japan, with a further 23.2% sold to Norway. Cumulative exports total 434,392 mt, down 12.7% from the same period last crop year and up .8% from the five-year average. Cumulative exports account for 29% of the current 1.5 mmt AAFC forecast, behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Corn imports in January slipped lower from the December volume to 636,768 mt, tied to slow rail movement during the month due to extreme temperatures. To date, 2.345 mmt has been imported since September, or 59% of the current 4 mmt import forecast released by AAFC. This volume is up 170% from the same period last crop year and 150.5% higher than the five-year average for this period.
Canada exported 181,214 mt of canola oil in January, the lowest monthly volume shipped in many crop years, perhaps affected by low prairie temperatures. Cumulative exports over six months total 1.240 mmt, down 25% from the same period in 2020-21 and 24% below the three-year average.
Canola meal exports totaled 322,928 mt in January, the lowest monthly volume shipped since February 2019. Cumulative exports total 2.308 mmt, down 11% from one year ago and down 6% from the three-year average.
Canada imported 129 million litres of ethanol in January, up slightly from the previous month. This volume is up 101.6% from the same month in 2021 while 67% higher than the three-year average for this month.
March USDA WASDE
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