Moving what may be a gigantic crop of all grains through the system will require all facets of the Canadian grain handling system, both domestic and export, to fire on all cylinders in the upcoming crop year.
While the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) weekly crush data indicates a slow start to the crop year due to the tightness in Prairie supplies, the crush is slowly but surely ramping higher. Year-to-date crush as of September 18 was 646,254 metric tonnes, which is 219,674 mt behind last year's 865,928 mt as of the same date. Crush capacity utilization is only 57.7% year to date, while this time last year the capacity utilization was 79.6% due to the earlier harvest.
Total canola crush for the year has been estimated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to increase 2.7% from last year to 6.9 million metric tonnes. This remains below the 7 mmt record crush in the 2011/12 crop year, while the industry has since added capacity. Total current capacity is viewed at 10 mmt annually by AAFC, which may make a record crush this crop year achievable.
Given the slower start, an average of approximately 139,000 mt will need to be crushed weekly through the balance of the 45 weeks of the crop year in order to achieve the 6.9 mmt crush estimate. This is above the 129,550 mt average weekly crush from Week 8 through Week 52 in the 2012/13 crop year. A weekly average crush of approximately 141,200 mt will be required to meet the 2011 record.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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