Canada’s combined exports of coarse grains – corn, rye, barley, and oats – are expected to reach a new high in 2020/21 primarily led by barley. For most of these grains, the United States has been the top destination, while exports to other countries have grown, reflective of underlying trade dynamics in each grain.
Corn exports are currently forecast to rebound from a year ago supported by demand in Europe, while rye exports mirror demand in the United States for food and feed use.
Barley exports are currently forecast at 3.6 million tons for 2020/21. If realized, it would be the largest volume since 1993/94. While China has been the top destination, Canada’s export prospects to China have sharply improved since last year because China has imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on barley from its top supplier, Australia.
Moreover, China has been active in purchasing competitively priced feed grains as substitutes for domestic corn. For October 2020 through February 2021, barley exports to China are already at the same level as the amount exported for all of last year. Canada is the fifth-largest exporter of barley in the global market.
For oats, Canada has been the top global exporter. Oats exports for 2020/21 are currently forecast at 2.0 million tons, the largest since 2007/08. The United States has been the top market supported by demand for high quality feed for horses and for food use.
Since last year, exports to Latin America, particularly to Chile, have grown substantially. Chile has expanded processing of oats and exports them to neighboring countries. On average, nearly half of oats production in Canada is destined for export.