Canada Markets

Canada's November Merchandise Trade

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canada's trade deficit with the rest of the world increased close to $1 billion in November to $2.5 billion, the largest month-to-month increase seen since the month of June. The increase in total imports (5.8%) surpassed the increase in exports (3.7%) in November.

Exports of all goods totaled $46.2 billion over the month, with increases noted in eight of 11 sectors. This was the largest monthly exports seen in five months and was the sixth highest seen during the 2017 calendar year. Ag exports fell from data reported for October, with both the Farm, fishing and intermediate food products group as well the Farm and fishing products sub-groups falling back from the eight-month highs reached in October.

Here is a look at miscellaneous grain data from this report.

Lentil exports totaled 130,453 metric tons, the lowest monthly volume in three months and the lowest November exports reported in five years. Year-to-date (Aug-July crop year), 508,595 metric tons have been shipped, 45.8% of the volume shipped in the first four months of the 2016/17 crop year and 59.5% of the five-year average. Turkey was the largest buyer this month, taking about 21.6% of the total volume. India's share has plunged for a second straight month to 7,288 mt, or just 5.6% of the volume. To-date this crop year, 107,297 mt of product has been shipped to India, down 299,418 mt, or 73.6%, from the 406,715 mt shipped in the same period last crop year. The August-through-November volume accounts for 24.2% of the current 2.1 mmt export forecast set by AAFC, behind the steady pace needed to reach this target with this data accounting for 33% of the crop year exports.

Dry pea exports totaled 123,047 mt in November, the lowest volume shipped in four months and the smallest volume shipped during the month of November in five months. Year-to-date, 1.135 mmt has been exported, reflecting 69% of the same period in 2016/17 and 88.3% of the five-year average. To-date, 47.3% of AAFC's 2.4 mmt export target has been achieved, with cumulative volumes ahead of the pace needed to achieve this volume. China is the major buyer in November, accounting for 61.6% of the volume shipped. Volume shipped to India has plunged for a second straight month given the 50% import tariff announced for India's imports in November. India has imported 241,850 mt in the first four months of the crop year, down 597,131 mt or 71% from the same period last crop year.

Chickpea exports in the month of November were reported at 29,915 mt, slightly higher than last month and possibly a record for monthly shipments. Year-to-date, 73,214 mt has been shipped, 245% of the same period last year and 315% of the five-year average. The recent December AAFC supply and demand report revised the export forecast 20,000 mt higher to 130,000 mt, while cumulative exports make up 56.3% of expected crop year exports, well ahead of the pace needed to reach this target. For the second straight month, Turkey and Pakistan were the largest buyers, taking 40% of the total export volume.

Mustard exports totaled 10,126 mt in November, down slightly from the previous month. Year-to-date 38,122 mt has been exported, 93% of the volume shipped in the same period last crop year while 91.3% of the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports total 30.5% of the current 125,000-mt AAFC target, which points to the current pace only slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Canary seed exports totaled 17,705 mt in November, the highest monthly volume shipped in six months. Cumulative exports at 49,113 mt are 108.5% of the same period in 2016/17 but only 92.8% of the five-year average. This volume represents 36.4% of the current target, slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach this goal given that this data covers one-third of crop year data.

Export data for November shows 1.3 million tons of soybeans exported during the month, very likely a record volume for monthly shipments. This comes at a time when U.S. exports in November, totaling 9.03 mmt, were the smallest volume shipped for the month in four years. A reported 532,028 mt was shipped to China, or 41% of the monthly shipments, while a similar volume was shipped to the Western Europe countries of Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Norway. Cumulative exports of 2.176 mmt are just slightly lower than the same period last crop year, or 99.2% of the total, while is 117.2% of the five-year average. Total exports account for 38.9% of the crop year target of 5.6 mmt, which was recently revised lower by 500,000 mt along with a lower revision in estimated production reported by Statistics Canada for 2017. Note that this is achieved in the first 25% of the row-crop crop year, which begins on Sept. 1.

November saw a total of 112,200 mt of corn shipped, the largest volume shipped in four months. The largest share, or 60,844 mt, was shipped to Ireland while 41,129 mt was shipped to the U.S. Crop year exports total 202,777 mt, which is 82% of the same period last crop year and 125% of the five-year average for this three-month period. This represents just 13.5% of the 1.5 mmt export target set by AAFC, behind the steady pace needed to reach this target.

Note: This blog will be next updated on Jan. 22.

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

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