Canada Markets

June Merchandise Trade Data

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart highlights the cumulative pace of Canada's soybean exports in 2016/17 (blue line) as compared to 2015/16 (red line) and the green shaded area which represents the five-year average cumulative pace. With two months to go, exports are at a record pace at 4.1 mmt, while forecasts point to a significantly higher volume to be moved in 2016/17. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Canada's June Merchandise Trade data released by Statistics Canada on Friday was viewed as a disappointment, with the country's global trade deficit increasing to $3.6 billion for the month, the fifth consecutive monthly trade deficit and the largest seen since September 2016.

While unfavorable news, the country's trade surplus with the U.S. shrunk this month from $3.5 billion to $2.2 billion despite the strengthening loonie, which could support Canada's case entering the upcoming NAFTA negotiations.

Total exports were 4.3% lower during the month of June, which was the result of a 1.7% drop in volumes combined with a 2.7% drop in prices. This led to a drop in nine of 11 sectors that are tracked. At a total of $46.5 billion, exports were the lowest in four months. The broad Farm, fishing and intermediate food products category exports were reported at $2.7657 billion in exports for the month, down from the previous month, but still higher than the previous four-month average. Wheat exports, measured in dollars, were reported at $563.4 million, the highest dollar value reported in 16 months, while canola exports measured in dollars were reported at $486.3 million, the second-lowest in eight months.

Here is a look at miscellaneous trade data for the month and how it relates to projections for the 2016/17 crop year.

Canada exported 129,319 metric tons of lentils in the month of June, the second-last month of the crop year. This is down from the previous month and below the previous four-week average as stocks tighten. Year-to-date, 2.410 million metric tons have been exported, slightly higher than the current 2.4 mmt target set by AAFC, a volume 15.6% higher than the same period in 2015/16 and 46.2% higher than the five-year average. India was the largest buyer of lentils in the month of June, taking 47.2% of the volume, while the United Emirates followed with 15.6% of the volume.

In the month of June, 182,216 mt of dry peas were exported, down for a third straight month and the smallest monthly volume shipped in this crop year. Year-to-date, 3.863 mmt has been exported, which is 57.7% higher than the same 11-month period in 2015/16 and 54% higher than the five-year average. Dry pea exports to-date have also surpassed the 3.8 mmt export target set by AAFC. India was the largest buyer of peas for the month, taking 54.7% of the volume for the month, while China followed with 28.3% of the volume shipped.

Chickpea exports in the month of June were reported at 5,584 mt in June. This is the lowest monthly volume shipped in eight months as supplies tighten. Year-to-date exports are reported at 99,643 mt, which is 71.4% of the same period in 2015/16 while 43.7% higher than the five-year average. The United States remains the largest buyer of Canadian chickpeas, receiving 41% of the volume for the month, while Pakistan followed with 19.3% of the volume in June.

Canary seed exports were reported at 12,644 mt in June, the lowest volume shipped in four months, with forecasts pointing to ending stocks to be extremely tight by the end of the crop year. Year-to-date exports are reported at 141,671 mt, 2.9% higher than the same period last crop year and also 2.8% higher than the five-year average. Cumulative exports have already surpassed the 120,000 mt target set by AAFC.

Mustard exports were reported at 9,165 mt in the month of June, the smallest monthly volume in five months. Year-to-date exports total 114,879 mt, up 8% from the same week in 2015/16, while 1.1% higher than the five-year average. Year-to-date exports are closing in on the 117,000 mt target set by AAFC.

Soybean exports in the month of June dropped sharply to 89,911 mt, the smallest monthly volume shipped this crop year and the smallest June exports seen in data going back five years. A combination of tightening stocks along with the sharp increase in the Canadian dollar may have had a role in the slowing pace. Year-to-date, 4.141 mmt has been exported, 6.8% higher than the same 10-month period in 2015/16 and 27.6% higher than the five-year average. In the first 10 months of the crop year, 94.1% of the 4.4 mmt export forecast set by AAFC has been achieved. Soybean exports to China slipped for the second straight month to 13,086 mt or 14.6% of the total volume, while Japan was the largest buyer for the month receiving 35% of the volume for the month.

A reported 164,600 mt of corn were exported in the month of June, down from May, but still well-above the previous four-month average. Year-to-date 1.067 mmt has been exported as seen in Statistics Canada data, 83.9% of the volume shipped in the same period of 2015/16 and 11.3% higher than the five-year average. With 83.3% of the crop year past, cumulative exports have reached 68.8% of the 1.55-mmt target set by AAFC, which suggests that crop-year exports may fall short.

Canola oil exports slowed in the month of June, with a reported 230,193 mt exported this month, the lowest volume shipped in 10 months. Year-to-date, exports total 2.826 mmt, up 14% from the same reporting period in 2015/16. Movement to China fell sharply this month to 30,086 mt, the lowest monthly volume shipped since June 2016. Movement to the U.S. was reported at 165,853 mt, the highest volume shipped in eight months.

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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

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