Views differ on crop exports to China other than canola

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MarketsFarm — Depending on whom one has spoken with, there are differing views as to grain exports to China other than canola.

The federal government has stated there have been no export issues outside of canola.

“The current actions taken by China are limited to canola seed, and we have not received any indication of broader disruptions,” a spokesperson with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said via email.

“Aside from issues with canola seed, at the moment shipments of other grains, oilseeds and pulses continue to be accepted by China.”

However, Jim Wickett, a farmer at Rosetown, Sask. and board member with the Western Canadian Wheat Growers, stated otherwise.

“Shipments that are booked are still going ahead, but no new (bookings) are happening for the summer or the fall,” he said, commenting that China of late has been very hesitant to commit to any Canadian agricultural products.

Meanwhile, Soy Canada executive director Ron Davidson said there are a few matters to that need to be considered.

“We are not aware of any official restrictions,” he said in regards to China.

As of the end of February, Canada has exported nearly 3.06 million tonnes of soybeans to China this crop year, according to the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). That’s almost two and half times more than in the 2017-18 crop year.

“We’re really happy to have sold that much to China,” Davidson said.

Canadian exports of soybeans to China dropped off during the winter, he noted, attributing that to most of the 2018 crop already being exported primarily to China, with little stock left in Western Canada.

As for Eastern Canada, he said the freeze-up of the St. Lawrence Seaway prevented more exports.

China often purchases South American soybeans once they are available, much to the detriment of other exporters including Canada, he said.

In November, Canada’s soybean exports to China were 1.34 million tonnes, dropping significantly to 666,200 tonnes in December. In January only 74,000 tonnes were exported and that number fell to 27,000 tonnes in February.

In other data from the CGC, wheat exports for the 2018-19 crop year have been far ahead of the previous crop year at 1.27 million tonnes compared to 444,000 tonnes. Exports in December peaked at nearly 440,000 tonnes, and then dropped to 115,000 tonnes in January, but improved to 158,300 tonnes in February.

Barley exports for the current crop year amounted to 938,500 tonnes by February. That month 229,500 tonnes were exported to China, up from 51,600 tonnes in January.

Peas were at approximately 716,200 tonnes so far this crop year, compared to 688,800 tonnes the previous year. In January, China accepted 83,600 tonnes, but that fell to 37,600 tonnes in February.

— Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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