Canada Markets

Canada's November Trade Statistics

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canada's trade deficit with the world leaped from $851 million in October to $2.06 billion in November, the highest level reported in six months. The value of Canadian exports fell for the fourth straight month and to the lowest level reported in eight months, with lower energy prices noted as a major factor in November data. Exports were reported lower in eight of the 11 sectors reported. The broad Farm, fishing and intermediate food products category shows a slight decline from the previous month, while at $3.3273 billion, is slightly below the previous four-month average.

As both Canada and the U.S. uses each other's import data to track monthly activity, Statistics Canada reports the November report was made possible although the December report next month could be problematic due to the U.S. government partial shutdown.

The following is a look at miscellaneous trade data found in this report.

Lentil exports were reported at 134,291 metric tons in November, the smallest monthly volume shipped this crop year but up slightly from the same month in 2017. The top three buyers in November were Egypt, UAE and Bangladesh, with shipments ranging from 14,000 to 19,000 mt. India was No. 18 on the list at 3,075 mt, while this crop year there has been 97,566 mt shipped to India as of November. This is down from 107,296 mt in the same period of 2017-18 and the three-year average of 401,000 mt. Year-to-date, 588,090 mt has been exported, 15.6% higher than the same period last crop year, while only 68.3% of the five-year average for this period. This volume represents 32.7% of the current AAFC target of 1.8 million metric tons and is on track to reach this volume, which was revised 100,000 mt lower in AAFC's December supply and demand estimates.

Dry pea exports were reported at 269,819 mt, down for the second straight month, but still the largest volume shipped in November seen in data going back eight years. China remains the largest buyer at 128,275 mt or 47.5% of total volume. India was listed at 25,190 mt, the third largest buyer, while has shipped 64,034 mt so far this crop year; this is down from 241,850 mt in the same period of 2017-18 and the three-year average of 590,956 mt. Cumulative exports are 1.141 mmt, 0.5% higher than the same period last crop year while representing 85.7% of the five-year average. Cumulative exports represent 43.9% of the current 2.6 mmt target set by AAFC, well-ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.

Statistics Canada reported 20,123 mt of chickpea exports in November, the largest monthly volume shipped in 12 months. Cumulative volumes this crop year total 43,802 mmt, just 60% of the volume shipped in the first four months of 2017-18 while 28.8% higher than the five-year average for this period. This volume represents 43.8% of AAFC's 100,000-mt export demand target, which was lowered by 10,000 mt in the December supply and demand estimates.

Mustard exports totaled 11,160 mt in November, down just slightly from the previous month. Cumulative exports total 38,959 mt, 2.2% higher than the same period last crop year while 7% below the five-year average for this period. Cumulative exports have reached 33.9% of the current 115,000-mt export target set by AAFC, on track to reach this target.

A reported 69,967 mt of flax was exported in November, the largest monthly volume reported in 10 months. China stepped up to take roughly two-thirds of this volume, the largest volume shipped to this destination since January 2018. Cumulative exports total 153,770 mt as of November, up 11.5% from the same period last crop year and 7% higher than the five-year average. This represents 38.4% of the current AAFC export demand forecast of 400,000 mt, ahead of the pace needed to reach this target.

Monthly Statistics Canada data shows 1.537 mmt of soybeans exported in the month of November, up sharply from the previous month and the largest monthly volume ever shipped in any month. A reported 92.4% of this volume was shipped to China in November, with lesser volumes reported to a list that includes 29 countries. Total exports reported since September are 2.7 mmt, up 24.5% from the same period in 2017-18 and 38.7% higher than the five-year average. This volume represents 49% of the current 5.5 mmt export target set by AAFC that was reduced by 200,000 mt in AAFC's December supply and demand estimates.

Canada imported 180,819 mt of soybeans in the month of November, up from 106,863 mt reported in October. Over the first three months of the 2018-19 crop year, 388,330 mt has been imported, already close to the 2018-19 400,000 mt estimate used in AAFC's supply and demand tables. This volume is well-above the 121,924 mt reported in the same period in 2017-18 while is also well-above the five-year average of 85,308 mt.

Barley exports totaled 276,589 mt in November, down from the previous month although well above November shipments in recent years. China and Japan were shipped the largest percentage of this volume (96.4%), with a slightly higher volume shipped to China. Year-to-date (August through November) 741,529 mt has been exported, up 17% from the same period last crop year and 75% higher than the five-year average. To-date, 30% of the current 2.450-mmt export target set by AAFC has been shipped, just slightly behind the steady pace needed to reach this target. This target was increased by 50,000 mt in AAFC's December supply and demand estimates.

Canola oil exports were reported at 312,503 mt in November, the largest monthly volume shipped in 13 months and 9.5% higher than the same period on 2017-18. Exports of canola meal are reported at 452,545 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in 20 months. Year-to-date exports total 1.533 mmt, up 6.9% from the same period last crop year.

Canada's corn exports for the month of November totaled 186,275 mt, the largest monthly volume shipped in three months and the largest volume shipped in November in eight years. Of this volume, 69.9% was shipped to Ireland, a country that has played a key role in Canada's exports in recent months. Cumulative exports total 312,740 mt, 54% higher than the same period in 2017-18 and 67% higher than the five-year average.

Canada imported 226,404 mt in November, slightly higher than the two previous months, with the largest share from the U.S. Over the September through November period, 645,809 mt has been imported into Canada and slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach the 1.7 mmt import forecast set by AAFC.

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

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