“As we know, it’s a far cry from where we were a year ago when we had sold about 24 million bushels,” she said, adding that major declines in sales to Italy and also Algeria account for much of the drop-off. On the other hand, U.S. durum sales are up to some smaller markets. Spain is one where sales have actually increased.
To the north, Canadian durum sales are down 57 percent compared to a year ago. Very similar to the U.S., Canada’s sales are down to most of their European customers, especially Italy, and also down to the North African market.
In other news, Olson noted a new International Grains Council (IGC) report came out at the end of February. In terms of production, the IGC increased European durum production by 10 MB, which was nothing major.
“The 2021 production remains the lowest we’ve seen in 20 years,” she said. “But where we did see a lot of adjustments was in the trade data. There’s a lot of demand rationing going on, a lot of customer sourcing from other areas, just due to the limited supplies out of North America and, obviously, the high prices.”
Olson explained the IGC also lowered import demand for Europe, Turkey, and Algeria. The import demand is now estimated at 223 MB, which is down 20 MB from last month’s report and down by about a third from last year.
In terms of exports, the IGC lowered the forecast for both Canada and the U.S. The IGC’s forecast for the U.S. is now closer to USDA’s forecast of 15 MB. The IGC raised exports for Mexico and Turkey as we see major buyers sourcing from alternative locations, including those two countries.