Canada Markets

Movement from Prairie Elevators Ahead of Normal

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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At close to 14.4 million metric tons of grain shipments from licensed primary elevators as of week 15, total movement is ahead of the same period in 2017-18 as well as the five-year average. Increased movement in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba are offsetting lagging movement from Alberta. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Canadian Grain Commission reported week 15 shipments of all grains from licensed primary elevators was reported at 971,600 metric tons, slightly below 1 million metric tons for the second week after two consecutive weeks of volumes that exceeded one million tons.

As seen on the attached chart, cumulative volumes shipped over 15 weeks totals 14.3858 mmt, a volume that is 787,000 mt, or 5.8%, higher than the same period in 2017-18 and 1.355 mmt, or 10.4%, higher than the five-year average for this period.

Looking at shipments by province, movement from Alberta is the only province that trails volumes moved both last year and over the past five years, while movement from Saskatchewan is roughly 1.2 mmt ahead of last crop year as well as its five-year average.

Space in the country remains good overall, with week 15 stocks reported at 3.668 mmt, representing 73.5% of the 4.990 mmt working capacity estimated by Quorum Corporation. Of the three Prairie provinces along with British Columbia, Alberta's space could be viewed as the tightest with stocks representing 76.5% of the estimated working capacity for the province, which could still be viewed as good overall.

While by no means a red flag, the two railways spotted 86% of the hopper cars wanted for loading in week 15, the poorest weekly performance seen in eight weeks and bears watching after achieving more than 90% in each of the past four weeks.

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

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