Grain vessel lineup a possible sign of shipping to come?

The lineup of grain vessels waiting for loading at Vancouver increased to 21 for Week 8 of the grain shipping season.

Reports by Quorum Corp., which monitors prairie grain handling, stated vessels at Vancouver were up 31 per cent from the previous week (17). The increase in ships raised sentiments that grain orders and exports may soon pick up.

At Prince Rupert, three vessels were waiting.

Total western port unloads were 14 per cent higher than the four-week rolling average, but three per cent lower than last week.

As of Week 7, grain shipments leaving from the port of Vancouver were 11 percent below last year at 2.324 million tonnes, compared to 2.612 million, and 10 per cent below the five-year average of 2.577 million.

Prince Rupert was picking up some of the slack, operating at 38 percent ahead of last year (664,900 tonnes vs. 482,000 tonnes) and 11 per cent ahead of the five-year average (600,700 tonnes).

Overall, shipments through west coast ports were three per cent less than a year ago and six percent below the five-year average.

Thunder Bay shipments are down two percent compared to last year and 25 percent below the five-year average.

Meanwhile, country stocks in store (excludes stocks stored at export terminals) were below last year at this time (3.727 million tonnes vs. 3.941 million tonnes) but ahead of the five-year average of 3.251 million tonnes. That’s based on Quorum’s Week 7 reports, ending Sept. 25.

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