Canada Markets

USDA's Views on Canada and US Wheat Exports

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The brown line represents the long-term trend in U.S. all-wheat exports, with the dotted line representing the linear trend for this period. This is compares to the blue line, which represents Canada's all-wheat acres. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The March 8 USDA WASDE report included a 15-million-bushel (mb) (408,230 metric ton) lower revision to United States wheat exports for 2023-24 to 710 mb or 19.3 million metric tons (mmt). On March 7, 8 and 9, the USDA reported sales cancelations for 504,000 metric tons (mt) of Chicago soft red winter wheat to China, exceeding the WASDE revision and signaling the potential for future revisions lower.

As seen on the attached chart, this volume is down 6.4% from one year ago and down 20.3% from the five-year average. This is the smallest U.S. exports (brown line) seen since the 1971-72 crop year. As seen by the dotted line on the attached graphic, U.S. exports have been in a long-term downtrend, with the 2023-24 estimated acres below trend.

As of week 31, the Canadian Grain Commission's licensed exports for Canada's all-wheat at 716,300 mt ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC forecast of 23.450 mmt, while the USDA has compensated for this faster pace with a forecast for Canada's all-wheat exports at 24 mmt.

The graphic highlights the long term trend of overall lower wheat exports from the U.S. and Canada combined, although Canada has fared better. U.S. forecast exports for 2023-24 are estimated 60% below the record exports reported in 1981-82, while Canada's exports are down 9.2% from the record volume shipped in 2020-21.

The current USDA forecasts point to 43.323 mmt to be shipped out of Canada and the U.S. combined in 2023-24, down from the five-year average of 47.4 mmt, while compares to the 1987-88 record high of 66.7 mmt.

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