Canadian durum export to rise to 4.4 million tons for 2022-23


Sep 22, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

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Durum wheat is a variety of spring wheat that’s typically ground into semolina and used to make pasta. They can also be used to make breakfast cereals, puddings, or bulgur, or ground into a finer flour to make unleavened bread or pizza dough. Canada is the leading exporter of durum wheat in the world. Canadian Western Amber Durum (CWAD) is known for its beautiful bright yellow color and high protein content and semolina yield, making it an excellent choice for making high-quality pasta and couscous.
Durum wheat is mainly grown in the semiarid Brown (Aridic Haploborolls) and Dark Brown (Typic Borolls) soil-climatic zones of the Canadian prairies. Particularly, Canadian durum wheat is grown in the southern prairies of western Canada. This area has hot arid summers and light brown soil making it ideal for cultivation of durum wheat. Seeded area of durum wheat in Canada was 2.24 million hectares for 2021-2022. Canada produced approximately 6.57 million tons of durum wheat in the crop year 2020/21.
This season, Canadian durum supply decreased by 53% from 2020-21 due to a drop in production caused by the drought in Western Canada. Canadian exports are forecast at 2.4 million tons. According to the Canadian Grain Commission, exports of durum to the end of June totaled 2.3 million tons, but with export movement still lagging last year’s levels by 58%. Carry out stocks are now forecast to fall to 0.45 million tons, 40% less than in 2020-21 and 66% lower than the previous five-year average of 1.3 million tons.
According to Stat Canada’s seeded area released July 5th, area planted to durum is estimated at 2,431 thousand hectares (kha) for 2022 23. Production was revised down by 3% in late July as a result of the lower acreage, but it remains more than double that of the previous year at just under 5.5 million tons, assuming favorable weather and average yields. Some dry conditions still persist however in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and precipitation will be needed to help crop development.
For 2022-23, total supply is forecast at 6.0 million tons, 74% more than in 2021-22, but still 5% less than the five-year average due to low carry-in stocks. Domestic use is forecast to reach average levels and exports are projected at 4.4 million tons, about 74% of total supply, with strong demand expected from Europe and North Africa where poor weather has negatively affected local crops. Closing stocks were forecast at 0.7 million tons, up 56% year on year.
As per AgFlow data, Peru was the largest export market of Canadian durum with 62,000 tons in 2021-2022, followed by Algeria (60,000 tons), the United Arab Emirates (38,500 tons), and Belgium (36,300 tons). Cuba and Costa Rica were minor importers.
At present, the durum harvest is 90% complete in Saskatchewan and 73% done in Alberta. Saskatchewan Agriculture is predicting Saskatchewan yields of 30 bushels per acre. In parallel, Stats Canada is expecting that Canada’s durum wheat crop will yield 38.4 bushels per acre to make a 6.1 million tons crop. This would be 101% more than last year.

Durum export markets by tons (2021 - 2022)

Global Durum Output vs Canada

Global durum production dropped 10% compared to the previous year with smaller North American crops offsetting the larger harvests in Mexico, the EU, and North Africa, according to the International Grains Council. Production for 2021-22 is estimated at 30.7 million tons, with projections for a decline in both consumption and trade.
Worldwide consumption is estimated at 32.6 million tons, 7.8% less than the previous year, and trade to close in at 6.2 million tons, 31% less than in 2020-21. Closing stocks are estimated at 6.4 million tons, a 14-year low, with major exporters’ share declining 40% year on year.
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