Grain exports continue strong out of Thunder Bay

COVID-19 leads to increased demand, reduced oil traffic by rail

MarketsFarm — The Port of Thunder Bay reported another strong grain handling month in May, as more than 1.1 million tonnes of Canadian grain and oilseeds moved through the harbour on the northern shores of Lake Superior during the month.

Increased demand from many countries stockpiling grain amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic was cited as one of a number of factors behind the solid movement of wheat and canola, according to an update from the port.

Global grain supply was also impacted by drought in Australia and export restrictions in Russia. Meanwhile, Canada had significant carryover stock from the 2019 crop.

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The pandemic has also increased available capacity in the supply chain for grain, with reduced movement of oil and gas freeing up railway capacity, according to the report.

Both Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railways have reported grain movement records in recent weeks. Strong grain shipments are anticipated to continue through the summer.

A total of 2.338 million tonnes of grain have moved through the Port of Thunder Bay during the shipping season so far, accounting for 90 per cent of the business at the port. That compares with 1.782 million tonnes at the same time a year ago.

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