Grainworld: Durum export outlook positive for 2014-15

Winnipeg | CNS Canada -- Because of the large durum crop grown in Canada in 2013-14, the country needs to gain a higher percentage of global durum trade to alleviate some of the pressures of having huge supplies, the Wild Oats Grainworld conference was told here Monday.

“And I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult of a task,” said John Griffith, senior durum merchandiser with CHS Inc.

Current weather conditions in Algeria show precipitation levels down compared to last year, which may mean that country produces a smaller crop. If that’s realized, durum exports out of Canada to Algeria could grow next year.

The same story is occurring in Morocco, Griffiths said, and below-average precipitation there could increase that country’s demand for No. 1-grade Canadian durum.

Increased demand could also come from Spain, due to a dry start to its growing season, Italy because of adverse weather conditions and France due to fewer acres seeded to durum.

“When logistics start to free up, Canadian durum will move,” Griffiths said.

Another positive note for the Canadian durum market going forward is the continuing trend of lower acreage in the U.S. Expectations also call for lower Canadian planted acreage and durum production due to smaller yields.

Griffiths expects 2014-15 Canadian durum production to drop to about 4.8 million tonnes, from 6.5 million in 2012-13. Dean O’Harris of Parrish and Heimbecker, in a separate Grainworld presentation, projected Canadian durum production will total five million tonnes next year.

All these positive things will only come once the logistics problems in Canada work themselves out, and that will take time and patience, Griffiths said.

Many had opinions on the problems moving grain out of Western Canada this year, and the general consensus was that “Yes, the situation is bad right now, but it will work itself out in time.”

Some presenters cautioned farmers to remain optimistic, even though it will take a while to work out these issues, possibly until 2015.

Eventually movement will improve, and the current situation is probably the worst it will ever be, Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada said.

– Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

 

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