CPKC has had a busy week, with the latest crop report being released and plenty more to deal with for shipping grain.
Elizabeth Hucker, Assistant Vice President for Marketing, Sales and Bulk, detailed some of the figures brought up in that crop report.
"CPKC released our 2023-2024 grain plan on July 31st, the report outlines our strong commitment to our grain customers and the unique position to supply rail transportation to Canada's agricultural sector as the first single-line connection between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, I'd say that we're well positioned to transport Canada's grain and grain products throughout this crop year."
"Based on our customer forecast and of course subject to demand, CPKC plans to supply the capacity required to move approximately 685,000 metric tons each week when the port of Thunder Bay is open. During those winter months, when the port of Thunder Bay is closed, CPC plans to supply the capacity required to move 525,000 metric tons of Canadian grain and grain products each week."
That compares to the latest estimate for the western Canadian grain crop being 73 million metric tons, with an expected carry-out from the previous crop year of 10.7 million metric tons.
The latest estimate for the Western Canadian grain crop translates to approximately 73 million metric tons, though we are hearing from our customers that it will be between 60 to 70 million metric tons this year with the carry-out from the previous crop year expected to be about 10.7 million metric tons.
"While we don't have an official drought update from Agriculture Canada, the last one was issued at the end of June, we are hearing from customers that conditions were dry through most of July ... We at CPKC are dedicated to moving grain and we will work with our customers to meet their supply chain needs, including moving corn and feed into Alberta where it's the driest for cattle as we did during the drought in the 2021-2022 crop year."
The new connection they've made to North America's southernmost country is seeing some interest from shippers in Canada.
"We're already actually moving wheat from Western Canada to Mexico. CPKC is the only single-line railway connecting Canada, the US, and Mexico and in addition to what we're already moving, we're seeing a significant interest from our Canadian grain shippers in the opportunity to connect Canadian grain with Mexico demand."
The current situation revolving around the dock workers in Vancouver is also stretching on, with some limited impacts on CPKC.
"Unfortunately, we don't have a final resolution in the west coast labour situation though the latest update that we have is that the Union is voting on the latest contract on August 3rd and 4th and we are optimistic that there will be a resolution to the uncertainty. We issued some furlough notices due to the uncertainty, but not the 200 that we had expected. The uncertainty from the West Coast labour situation has led to some shippers curtailing their volume and we are managing our resources to meet the demand."
Hucker says she's excited as more information about their elevator of the year project is coming soon.