Canada Markets

Favorable Conditions Support Canada's Grain Movement

By Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
The blue bars represent cumulative 2015/16 exports from licensed terminals for selected grains, as of week 20, compared to the same period in 2014/15. The red bars represent cumulative 2015/16 exports from licensed terminals, as of week 20, compared to the five-year average for the same period. The same comparisons are made for eastern vs. western ports. (DTN graphic by Scott R Kemper)

As of week 20, or the week ending December 20, Canadian Grain Commission statistics show that western farmers have delivered 23.3026 million metric tons of all grains, 1.9 mmt or 8.9% higher than the same period last year. Mild winter conditions, the ability to capture attractive prices such as seen in the pulse markets and perhaps a fear of lower prices in other grains has led to aggressive producer deliveries, with deliveries of all grains 23% above the five-year average.

Shipments from the Prairies also continue at a rapid pace, given favorable weather conditions and declining competition from competing commodities. Statistics Canada's most recent railway car loadings data shows January-through-October movement of coal is 17.4% below year-ago movement while the number of cars loaded with crude oil was 16.5% below year-ago levels, being just two examples. Total crop year shipments by licensed prairie elevators totaled 18.521 mmt as of week 20, close to 1.2 mmt or 6.7% above the same period last year and 24.9% above the five-year average.

Country stocks as of week 20 were reported at 3.452 mmt, just 43,400 mt above year-ago volumes and roughly 10% above the five-year average.

The attached chart shows 2015/16 licensed terminal exports, as compared to 2014/15 and the five-year average from 2010/11 through 2014/15 for selected crops in the first 20 weeks of the crop year. As indicated by the blue bars, both wheat (excluding durum) and canola volumes are higher than year-ago levels, while the total volume of grain shipped through licensed terminals is 690,200 metric tons or 4.3% above year-ago volumes. Wheat exports are 6.5% above year-ago volumes and canola exports are 12.7% above the volume shipped in the first 20 weeks of the crop year in 2014/15.

Movement of most grains is well-above the five-year average, with the movement of all grains through licensed terminals 35.3% above the five-year average. Wheat movement is 28.7% above the five-year average while canola movement is 26.3% above the five-year average.

Also indicated on the chart, movement through western ports (Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Churchill and Thunder Bay) is up 6.2% from last year, accounting for 75% of the total volume in the first 20 weeks of 2015/16. Year-to-date movement through eastern ports is down 1.1% from year-ago levels. Both are well-above their respective 5-year averages.

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