A world binge on consolation meals throughout COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns is boosting the prospects for a sort of Canadian wheat already in heavy demand from pasta lovers.
Canada’s durum exports within the 10 months ended Might 31 surged 17 per cent from a yr earlier amid lackluster crops in Europe and North Africa. The grain is utilized in every little thing from pasta and flatbreads to couscous. Simply as output sank in main markets, the coronavirus sparked a wave of panic shopping for as consumers stuffed their carts with staples akin to pasta, flour, cereal and crackers.
Exports are more likely to proceed to rise within the coming months, Neil Townsend, chief market analyst at FarmLink in Winnipeg, Manitoba, stated in a phone interview. Canada is the world’s prime exporter of durum, which is milled into semolina flour for spaghetti.
“Finally, it will’ve been a superb yr anyway, however that further pasta being offered on the supermarkets helps,” Townsend stated. “Individuals are shopping for a bit extra flour and they’re shopping for a bit extra pasta.”
Opposed climate is anticipated to curb output of durum in Italy, the world’s largest pasta shopper, whereas drought in nations akin to Morocco have minimize yield forecasts. Whereas Canada often exports some durum for livestock feed, the vast majority of latest shipments have been aimed for human consumption, suggesting that “pantry preparedness” is boosting demand and costs, Townsend stated.
U.S. pasta gross sales rose 54 per cent within the 16 weeks ended June 20, Nielsen information present.
Canadian durum exports in April surged to the very best in a yr, Canadian Grain Fee information present. From August to Might, shipments tripled to Turkey and Nigeria and nearly doubled to Italy. Durum costs in Saskatchewan are buying and selling near a three-year excessive, in line with information from Farmers Superior Threat Administration Co. in Winnipeg.
International demand for pasta is rising, and nations in Europe dealing with decreased harvests are shopping for to fulfill higher consumption, stated Jim Meyer, treasurer of the Nationwide Pasta Affiliation in Washington and president of St. Louis-based Italgrani USA, the biggest semolina and durum flour miller within the North America.
Durum acres in 2020 are poised to develop in North America, and if the crop continues to progress, that “would definitely assist in the present state of affairs in that extra pasta is being consumed by most people,” Meyer stated.
Farmers in Canada sowed 5.69 million acres of durum in 2020, up 16 per cent from a yr earlier, in line with authorities information. Output within the U.S. is forecast to rise 3.7 per cent to 56 million bushels, in line with the Division of Agriculture.
“We’re seeing folks eat extra at residence, so they’re consuming extra pastas,” stated Michael O’Dea, a threat administration guide at StoneX in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.
Canada is sending massive volumes to Italy which are approaching ranges earlier than country-of-origin labeling guidelines successfully hampered commerce, stated Cam Dahl, president of Winnipeg-based business group Cereals Canada. As provides dwindle in different nations, exports from North America will most likely proceed to climb, he stated.
“There aren’t any different suppliers,” Dahl stated in a cellphone interview. “When you eat couscous in Casablanca, you’re most likely consuming Saskatchewan durum wheat.”
— to www.bnnbloomberg.ca