Durum statistics may point to a larger than expected harvest
The Canadian Grain Commission reported 34,300 metric tonnes of durum wheat exported in week 30, or the week ending Feb. 27, as nearly 40,270 tonnes needed this week to stay on track to reach the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s current estimate of 2.350 million metric tonnes for 2021-22. This is indicated by the blue bars and the red line on the attached chart, both measured against the main vertical axis.
As expected in a tight supply year, exports could be concentrated or weighted more heavily in the early months of the crop year, with cumulative exports of 1.4582 mmt, or 102,431 mt of ahead of the steady pace necessary to achieve the government’s objective. export demand forecast, as evidenced by the green line above the black line on the attached graph, measured against the secondary vertical axis.
There are reasons to question the current Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Statistics Canada forecasts. Week 30 commercial stocks are reported at 867,900 tonnes, the highest volume reported for this week in three years and 89,300 tonnes or 11.5% above the five-year average. Of this volume, 44.8% is located in primary elevators, while 55% is located in terminal elevators. Current licensed exports plus stocks in commercial storage total 2.326 million tonnes, only 24,000 tonnes less than the current export forecast for the crop year from the first 30 weeks or 58% of the crop year.
As noted, exports could be early this crop year as buyers jostle for supplies, although that’s not normally the case for durum. Over the past five years, exports allowed from week 30 have averaged 52.2% of total crop year exports, meaning that approximately 47.8% of exports take place from week 30 to week 52 on average. Additional demand will be seen before the end of the crop year, with this notion still supported by dry conditions in North Africa, despite showers forecast for next week.