ONTARIO GRAIN – A LOOK AT OUR EXPORT ACTIVITIES
ontario corn, soybeans and wheat are well-travelled crops. Explore this map and discover where we ship our grains. All reports on tonnage are estimates.
Export markets have always been important for the Ontario soybean industry and these markets are of growing importance for both corn and wheat.
a strong export market for soy
For soybeans, almost two-thirds of the Canadian soybean production is exported. The export numbers featured on pages 6 and 7 are based on estimates from Statistics Canada on the entire Canadian soybean crop. As Ontario is the largest soybean producer of all the provinces, these numbers speak strongly of Ontario’s position in the export marketplace.
corn enters the export market
Similar to soybeans, the numbers for corn are also estimates of corn export from all of Canada based on Statistics Canada numbers. Traditionally, Ontario is in an import-position in the corn markets – importing corn from the US to fill our feed and ethanol needs. However, 2010 marked a record crop and Ontario farmers were able to take advantage of several export opportunities.
The shipment of corn to Spain was especially monumental as it marked the first significant purchase of Canadian corn by the country in nearly 12 years. Spain needs to import 11 million tonnes of cereal a year primarily to feed its pork production industry. Prior to this shipment, Europe has been mostly closed to Canadian corn imports.
ontario wheat exports
Determining export estimates for Ontario wheat is not nearly as straightforward as it is for corn and soybeans. Canadian corn and soybean production is most heavily focused in Ontario making it relatively easy to draw conclusions about the strength of the provincial export market based on national data. Unfortunately for Ontario wheat, western Canada is the primary wheat exporter and Statistics Canada does not separate out their export data based on province.
The estimates featured below are based on Grain Farmers of Ontario’s internal market intelligence and are strictly educated estimates. Over the past five years, Grain Farmers of Ontario – and the Ontario Wheat Board before that – has been very focused on building international relationships with potential wheat buyers. With an ever growing wheat crop in the province, it’s a Grain Farmers of Ontario priority to explore new market opportunities and to strengthen current domestic relationships. Currently, the Middle East is our newest export interest but Grain Farmers of Ontario staff have also explored other international opportunities.
In 2010, approximately 275,000 tonnes of Ontario corn was exported to the US. This corn will be used for a variety of products including feed, fuel and sugar.
Over 152,000 tonnes of corn was shipped to Tunisia, nearly 130,000 tonnes to Libya, 25,000 tonnes to Algeria and 12,000 to Egypt. Although we cannot be 100 percent certain, we suspect this corn was primarily used for feed. In 2009, Ontario corn was shipped to Algeria and Egypt but Tunisia and Libya are new buyers.
In 2010, over 40,000 tonnes of corn were shipped to Turkey and 70,000 tonnes made its way to Syria. Similar to North Africa, we suspect this corn was used for feed.
Spain purchased nearly 95,000 tonnes of corn from Canada this year and Portugal bought 30,000 tonnes. With a large number of pork producers in these two countries, it can be predicted that this grain went for feed. These exports to Europe are something very new for Canadian corn as Europe has not traditionally been an importer of our corn.
Iceland purchased a small amount of Canadian corn in 2010. Their purchase of over 7,000 tonnes was up from their 2009 purchase of 3,500 tonnes.
In 2010, over 675,000 tonnes of soybeans were exported for crush and 550,000 tonnes of food grade soybeans made their way to Europe. The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are our largest European purchasers with Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain also making purchases. This is a significant increase from exports to the region in 2009.
A small amount of Canadian soybeans found their way to Eastern Europe in 2010 with over 300 tonnes ending up in Poland.
Ontario soybeans found their way to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2010 with over 65,000 tonnes being shipped to the region. This is significant decrease from previous years. In 2008, 127,000 tonnes were shipped to the Middle East. Middle Eastern countries purchase nearly equal amounts of crush and food grade soybeans.
Egypt purchased nearly 67,000 tonnes of soybeans from Canada in 2010 and Mauritius purchased 103 tonnes. Soybeans shipped to Africa are primarily used for crush.
Nearly 51,000 tonnes of Canadian food grade soybeans made their way to South America in 2010, a significant increase from previous years. South American countries did not purchase any soybeans for crushing.
In 2010, China purchased nearly 205,000 tonnes of soybeans for crushing. This is nearly double what they purchased in 2009 but less than what they purchased in 2008.
Japan is an important purchaser of Ontario IP food grade soybeans. In 2010, they purchased nearly 125,000 tonnes.
the rest of asia
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand also purchased Canadian soybeans in 2010. In total, Canada exported approximately 90,000 tonnes of soybeans – both food grade and crush – in 2010.
The US is an important market for Canadian soybeans with 212,000 tonnes of soy for crush and 114,000 tonnes of food grade soybeans being exported in 2010. Food grade soybean exports to the US have seen a small increase since 2009 while soybeans for crushing have decreased slightly.
A portion of Ontario wheat is exported to Europe each year but these figures remain quite small due to import tariffs on low-protein wheat. Primarily soft red winter and hard red winter wheat is exported to Europe. This past year, Spain purchased some feed wheat to support its large pork production.
egypt and the middle east
Soft red winter wheat is exported to Egypt and the Middle East. Grain Farmers of Ontario is working hard to support these new markets through partnerships with the Canadian International Grains Institute and trade missions to the region. These countries buy soft red winter wheat for flatbread production.
Ontario exports approximately 500,000 tonnes of winter wheat to the US for a variety of uses including pastry baking and feed. Most of this wheat remains in the Great Lakes region at flour mills in our neighbouring states. •