Statistics Canada Reports March Trade Data
Statistics Canada's Canadian international merchandise trade report shows March imports of all merchandise down 2.9% and exports down 0.7%, moving the needle on the country's trade balance from a $487 million deficit to a $972 million surplus, the sixth reported surplus in seven months.
Statistics Canada reported a ninth consecutive drop in energy product exports, while this month's commentary points to a 5.3% drop in farm, fishing and intermediate food product exports to $5.6455 billion, the lowest reported in three months.
March lentil exports were reported at 147,761 metric tons, the lowest volume shipped in seven months. Measured in dollars, 17.2% was shipped to Turkey, 16.5% to India and 15.8% shipped to the United Arab Emirates, the largest destinations for the month. At 33,501 mt, the volume shipped to India was up sharply from the volume shipped in the previous month, while the largest volume shipped in three months. At 1.543 million metric tons shipped, 2022-23 exports are up 62.8% from one year ago and are 20.5% above the five-year average. Cumulative shipments have achieved 67% of the current AAFC forecast, equal to the steady pace needed to reach the current 2.3 mmt forecast.
Dry pea exports of 240,288 mt to all destinations were down from the previous month. Measured in dollar value, exports to China accounted for 53.3% of the total value, by far the largest destination. The volume shipped to China was only marginally higher than reported in the previous month, which is the highest volume shipped in five months. Cumulative exports of 1.943 mmt are up 45.4% from last year while 5.7% below the five-year average for this period. AAFC's dry pea export forecast was revised 100,000 mt higher in April to 2.6 mmt, while the cumulative volume has achieved 75% of this forecast and is ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC forecast which points to a modest increase in stocks year-over-year.
Chickpea exports totaled 23,988 mt, down from the previous month but continuing at a brisk pace. Measured in dollars, the largest share was shipped to the U.S. at 27% while 25.4% was shipped to Turkey. Cumulative exports of 162,402 mt are up 99% from one year ago while 86.7% above the five-year average. AAFC increased their forecast for 2022-23 exports by 25,000 mt in April to 225,000 mt, with current exports reaching 72% of this forecast and are well-ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
March canary seed exports totaled 11,224 mt, the lowest volume shipped in five months. Measured in dollars, 32% was shipped to Mexico, by far the largest share shipped to any destination. Cumulative exports total 99,926 mt, 3.3% higher than a year ago while 0.6% below the five-year average for this period. This volume accounts for 59% of forecast exports, while behind the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Mustard exports over the month of March totaled 20,667 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in any month over the past 12 years, if not the largest ever. A reported 8,961 mt was shipped to the U.S., the largest destination with the ball season in full swing, the largest monthly volume shipped to the U.S. since June 2012. Cumulative exports of 106,037 mt are up 49% from last year while 41.4% higher than the five-year average. Total shipments have reached 82% of the 130,000 mt forecast released by AAFC, a forecast revised 15,000 mt higher in April, while well-ahead of the steady pace needed to reach this forecast.
Flax exports were reported at 23,552 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in 15 months. Measured in dollars, 60% of the total exports were shipped to the U.S. while 26% of the value was generated from shipments to China. The 9,512 mt shipped to China was the largest monthly volume shipped to China in 21 months. Cumulative exports of 116,647 mt are down 28.2% from the same period in 2021-22 and are down 55.8% from the five-year average. Cumulative exports have reached 78% of the 150,000 mt forecast, well-ahead of the pace needed to reach the forest but do note that AAFC revised their export forecast lower by 60% or 225,000 mt in February due to exports falling far short of expectations.
Statistics Canada reported 136,917 mt of soybeans exported in March, falling for a fourth consecutive month and to the lowest volume shipped in six months. Given the dollar value of exports reported, 30% was shipped to Japan while 16.5% was shipped to Indonesia and a similar value was shipped to Indonesia. Cumulative exports of 3.733 mmt are up 8.4% from last year and 6.3% higher than the five-year average. Cumulative exports have achieved 78.3% of forecast exports, while well-ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current 4.4 mmt export forecast.
March exports of corn totaled 205,756 mt, the largest volume reported in three months and the largest March volume shipped in the past 12 years checked. Of the total dollar value shipped, 41% was destined for Spain and 31% was shipped to the United Kingdom. Cumulative exports of 1.048 mmt are up 33.1% from last year and 75.5% higher than the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports account for 57% of the current 1.850 mmt export forecast, which was revised 100,000 mt higher in April. This is very close to the pace needed to reach this forecast.
March Canadian corn imports of 234,015 mt was the largest monthly volume seen in seven months. Cumulative imports of 1.053 mmt are down 72% from one year ago while 32.3% lower than the five-year average for this period. AAFC has held on to their corn import forecast of 2 mmt for 2022-23, although cumulative imports have reached only 50% of this forecast; imports are well-behind the pace forecast by the USDA.
Canola oil exports are reported at 407,246 mt, possibly the largest monthly volume ever shipped. Cumulative volumes shipped are seen at 2.146 mmt, up 26% from the same period last year and 3.3% higher than the three-year average.
Canola meal exports are seen at 536,400 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in 24 months. Cumulative volumes of 3.636 mmt exported are up 22.2% from one year ago and 12% higher than the five-year average.
Ethanol imports totaled 210 million liters in March, possibly the largest monthly volume imported ever. This is 53.8% higher than the first three months of 2022, while 84% higher than the three-year average for the first quarter of the year.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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