Brisk exports cut into grain, oilseed stocks

Strong global demand for Canadian grains and oilseed continues to draw down stocks of all major crops. Here, the freighter G3 Marquis takes on a load of grain at Richardson's Current River elevator at Thunder Bay. | Photo courtesy of the Port of Thunder Bay

Statistics Canada reports that global demand remains strong as stocks of all major crops reach lower levels than last year

The amount of Canadian canola delivered to export terminals at the Port of Vancouver averaged almost 170,000 tonnes a week in April, easily surpassing the pace of deliveries in April 2020.

According to data from the Canadian Grain Commission, nearly 675,000 tonnes of canola were delivered to Vancouver export facilities in the four-week period ending May 3.

During the same four-week period a year ago, terminal receipts of canola stood at 521,000 tonnes, an average of roughly 130,000 tonnes a week.

That’s an increase of nearly 30 percent compared to April 2020.

Last week, Statistics Canada released its latest estimates of remaining stocks of principal field crops in Canada.

The report said stocks of all major crop kinds as of March 31 including wheat, canola, barley, soybeans, peas, oats and lentils were down compared to a year earlier.

StatsCan cited record exports and strong global demand for Canadian crops during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Export demand was led by China, which has been actively purchasing grain worldwide and was the main driver behind higher Canadian exports for most principal field crops,” the report said.

“Canadian railways continued to move grain at record levels for the first eight months of the (2020-21) crop year,” it added.

According to the StatsCan report, total remaining stocks of Canadian canola on a year-over-year basis fell by 37.7 percent to 6.6 million tonnes as of March 31, the lowest level since 2013.

Deliveries of canola increased 14.2 percent to 15.5 million tonnes year over year, while domestic canola use rose 0.7 percent to 7.4 million tonnes on strong domestic demand from canola crushers.

During the 12-month period ending March 31, Canadian canola exports rose 27.2 percent. Chinese imports were up 62 percent year-over-year.

Canadian stocks of wheat fell 13.6 percent year over year to 16.2 million tonnes as of March 31.

Producer deliveries of wheat in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2021, rose 19.3 percent on a year-over-year basis to 22.6 million tonnes, StatsCan said.

Exports of wheat rose 28.9 percent to a record 17.8 million tonnes, 2.3 million tonnes higher than the previous record set in March 2019.

“Exports of wheat were largely driven by China, whose imports of Canadian wheat almost quadrupled as demand for feed in that country remained high,” StatsCan said.

Canadian durum wheat stocks also fell 16.7 percent to 2.8 million tonnes.

Other estimates in the StatsCan report included:

  • 30.3 percent year-over-year decrease in Canadian soybean stocks to 2.0 million tonnes as of March 31.
  • 20.5 percent decrease in Canadian barley stocks to 2.8 million tonnes.
  • 0.1 percent decrease in Canadian oat stocks to 1.8 million tonnes.
  • 1.7 percent decrease in Canadian field pea stocks to 1.9 million tonnes.
  • 14.4 percent decrease in Canadian lentil stocks to 1.4 million tonnes.

About the author

Brian Cross's recent articles

Markets at a glance

explore

Stories from our other publications