Statistics Canada's Oilseed crushing statistics shows 808,945 metric tons of canola crushed in April, up for the second straight month and to the highest level reported in three months. April data will be received with a sign of relief, following two months where crush trailed average levels and there were ongoing concerns that Chinese importers could slow imports.
The April crush of 808,945 mt compares to 788,612 mt crushed in the same month in 2017-18 and the three-year average of 716,463 mt for the same month. Cumulative crush for the first nine months of the crop year is reported at 6.892 million metric tons. This is down 0.5% from the same period in 2017-18. The crush reported near capacity with total crop-year crush estimated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada this month unchanged from the previous month at 9.250 mmt, down a modest .2% from the volume crushed in 2017-18, while the forecast is steady for the 2019-20 crop year.
Crush remains on track to reach the current AAFC target of 9.250 mmt. An additional 2.346 mmt needs to be crushed to reach this target, or an average of 786,000 mt/month over the May/June/July period, a total of only 12,000 mt more than the volume crushed in the same period of 2017-18.
A ProphetX chart approximating the Canadian Canola Board Margin Index shows the index ending last week at $76.08/mt. This is up for the second week, after dipping to a weekly low of $67.51/mt in early May, while finding support at the 38.2% retracement of the move from the September 2018 low of $23/mt and the February weekly high of $95.16/mt, calculated at $67.59/mt. The current index is up 16.5% from the same week in 2017-18, the highest in three years and a modest 2.2% below the three-year average.
As of the month of March, Statistics Canada data shows that canola oil exports are up 1.5% year-to-date over the same eight-month period in 2017-18. Of the low erucic acid canola oil exports shipped in March, 71.8% of the total volume was shipped to China, the largest volume shipped since November, while 16.7% higher than March 2018.
As well, cumulative canola meal exports are up 2.9% from the same period in 2017-18, as of March. March exports of low erucic acid canola meal to China were reported at 127,524 mt, 31.6% of the month's total volume, the largest volume in three months and up 11% from the same month in 2017-18.
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