Canada Markets

Week 30 Pace of Canadian Wheat Shipments

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The current pace of Canada's cumulative licensed wheat exports (blue line) continues to remain on a rapid pace, with week 30 statistics showing cumulative exports at 10.440 mmt, up 17.4% from the same period in 2017/18 (red line) and 18% above the five-year average (green shaded area). (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Week 30 exports of wheat, covering activity for the week ending Feb. 24 (excluding durum) are reported at 354,200 metric tons by the Canadian Grain Commission, the highest level in four weeks and close to the volume needed this week in order to stay on track to reach the current AAFC target of 18.7 million metric tons. Cumulative exports as of this week total 10.4404 mmt, up 17.4% from the same 30-week period in 2017-18 and 18% higher than the five-year average.

As of January data found in the Exports of Canadian Grain and Wheat Flour report, cumulative exports for the first six months of the crop year shows 9.4687 mmt exported, up 1.5 mmt or 18.9% from the same period in 2017-18. A U.S. DTN contributor noted "Disheartening to see Canadian exports to China up 149% from a year ago when some of that business undoubtedly could have been U.S." At the same time, January exports to China were reported at 115,400 mt, the lowest volume reported in three months and consistent with waning exports of canola and soybeans to this country as the diplomatic row between the two countries festers.

At the same time, there are other wins seen in the cumulative data. Exports to Indonesia, the largest customer on a cumulative base at 1.1975 mmt, are up 43% from last crop year. Of the 56 countries listed in this month's report, 31 have shown a year-over-year increase in volume shipped, while nine of these countries have seen a year-over-year percent change in volumes shipped in excess of 100%.

This week's release of the Canada Grain and Feed Update by the USDA includes more aggressive export forecasts than we've seen from AAFC. Crop year exports for Canada's all-wheat is forecast at 24.2 mmt, slightly higher than the official USDA forecast of 24 mmt. This compares to AAFC's February supply and demand tables that estimates Canada's all-wheat exports at 22.8 mmt (18.7 mmt for wheat and 4.1 mmt for durum).

It is interesting to note that over the past five years, week 30 licensed exports represented 50.6% of total crop year exports. This five-year average projects forward to total crop year exports of 20.6 mmt of wheat, while assuming 4.1 mmt of additional durum shipments, would represent crop year exports for all-wheat at 24.7 mmt.

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

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