Statistics Canada reported that the country's total exports increased for the third consecutive month to $43.4 billion, while imports remained unchanged, resulting in an unexpected decline in the country's trade deficit of $1.9 billion, the lowest deficit reported since January. This follows a record $4 billion trade deficit reported in June. This points to a rebounding of the economy in the third quarter of the year which may be supportive for Canada's currency. Canada's total exports, however, remain 2.5% below year-ago levels.
Exports of energy products rose for the sixth consecutive month and to a 10-month high as recovery from the May wildfires continues. Exports of farm products (calculated by the Farm and fishing product subgroup less the fish and fishery products subgroup total) is reported at $1.908 billion, up .6% from July, a five-month high although 7% below the same month in 2015.
Here is a summary of random export data reported on Wednesday:
Exports of soybeans in August, the last month of the 2015/16 crop year for row crops, was reported at 187,682 metric tons, the largest monthly movement seen in five months. This brings the crop year total to 4.162 million metric tons, a record volume which was 10% higher than the previous crop year and 19.3% higher than the three-year average. Crop year exports reached the AAFC target of 4.2 mmt for 2015/16, while most recent estimates peg 2016/17 exports slightly lower at 4 mmt.
Exports of corn in August, also the last month of the 2015/16 crop year, were reported at 84,123 mt, the lowest monthly export volume seen in six months. The crop year total is shown at 1.589 mmt, 382% of the previous crop year, 16.5% higher than the three-year average and slightly higher than the 1.5 mmt target released by AAFC in early September. Despite an expected similar level of supplies available in 2016/17 according to AAFC estimates, exports are expected to fall to 1.2 mmt in the upcoming crop year.
Given tight supplies, lentil exports fell to 26,184 mt in August, the first month of the 2016/17 crop year, which was the lowest monthly volume shipped in August in seven years. This volume represents 43% of the volume shipped in August 2015 and is 24.7% of the five-year average for the month. The current AAFC export target for 2016/17 is pegged at 2.2 mmt, with August shipments behind the steady pace needed to reach this volume.
Movement of dry peas was aggressive in August, with 272,507 mt shipped, the largest monthly volume shipped in 10 months. This volume is 6.8% higher than the same month in 2015 while 43.1% higher than the five-year average. Current AAFC estimates point to the potential for a record 3.2 mmt of exports in the upcoming 2016/17 crop year, with the current volume slightly ahead of the necessary pace needed to reach this volume.
Chickpea exports were reported at 9,069 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped in 10 months given tight supplies. This volume is 75.2% of the volume shipped in August 2015, while is 62% higher than the five-year average. With 2016/17 supplies sharply lower, given extremely tight 2015/16 ending stocks, exports are expected to be sharply lower at 70,000 mt, with the August exported volume ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.
Mustard exports were reported at a three-month high of 8,039 mt, a three-month high which is 84.5% of the volume shipped in August 2015 and 78.3% of the five-year average. This volume remains behind the cumulative pace needed to stay on track to reach the targeted export volume of 125,000 mt this crop year.
Canary seed exports were reported at 11,139 mt for August, a three-month high. This volume represents 12.6% higher than August 2015 and 1.4% higher than the five-year average. Total supplies are estimated to be lower in 2016/17 given a tight carryout from the previous crop year, with exports expected to be lower than the previous crop year at 125,000 mt with current exports ahead of the pace needed to reach this volume.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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