Canada Markets

Axing Weekly COPA Reports are a Step in the Wrong Direction

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Canada's cumulative crush data for 2016/17 is plotted based on when the information was received from three sources: Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (brown line), Canadian Grain Commission (blue line) and Statistics Canada (grey line). While COPA and CGC data track closely, the trend in Statistics Canada data highlights the lag in data availability. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

More information is always better than less when it comes to the grain markets: the timelier, the better. For anyone who watches Canadian canola markets, Canadian Oilseed Processors Association's (COPA) latest decision to end the COPA Weekly report of member crushing numbers is a disappointing one.

This weekly report represented data from the six largest crushers, which includes ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Richardson and Viterra, and is perhaps the most up-to-date piece of information available in the trade. For years, this data has been released each Friday, just two days following the weekly data cut-off. To highlight the growing importance of this crush, the 2016/17 crush of 9.191 million metric tons reflects 45.5% of total demand.

This leads us on a search for the next best thing. COPA has indicated that crushing data will remain available in Statistics Canada's monthly Report of Crushing Operations, which is released almost a month after the fact, while COPA will release monthly data at an unspecified date. The Canadian Grain Commission also provides weekly domestic disappearance estimates in its Grain Statistics Weekly.

At first glance, data may prove Canadian Grain Commission domestic disappearance is the best way to fill in the void in data created by COPA. The CGC defines domestic disappearance as "grain reported shipped from licensed terminal, primary and process elevators to Canadian destinations other than a transfer shipment, and includes amounts reported processed (i.e. Milled/Mfg grain)."

The attached chart shows the cumulative canola crush in Canada based on three sources of data for the 2016/17 crop year, plotted against the date the information was released. For example, the first point on the chart from Statistics Canada (grey line) is the 665,347 metric tons crushed in August 2016 that was reported on Sept. 27.

While the vertical scale does not allow for detail, the COPA data (brown line) and the CGC data (blue line) track relatively close. Over the 52 weeks of the 2016/17 crop year, the weekly cumulative results reported by these sources were as close as 2,175 metric tons apart, while as far apart as 227,910 mt.

At the same time, the spread between the CGC data and the monthly Statistics Canada data was much wider, given the lag in time prior to receipt of the Statistics Canada data. For example, by the time the November crush volumes were released by Statistics Canada on Dec. 21 2016, the cumulative crush reported was trailing the weekly cumulative disappearance reported by the CGC by a volume of 628,933 mt, the largest spread seen over the year. On average, the cumulative crush volume reported by Statistics Canada lagged the CGC's volumes by close to 435,000 mt, due to the 21- to 27-day lag in receiving the information at the end of each month.


DTN 360 Poll

This week's DTN 360 Poll asks if you agree with the significant increase in farm stocks of canola as reported in Monday's Statistics Canada report. You can weigh in on this poll, found at the lower right side of your DTN Canada Home Page.

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