Statistics Canada's March canola crush data released today saw 820,712 metric tons of seed crushed over the month, the highest volume crushed in three months. Year-to-date, 6.135 million metric tons have been crushed, 2% below the same month last crop year while roughly 68,100 mt ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the current AAFC target of 9.1 mmt. Over the past five years, an average of 67.2% of total crop year crush was realized by March, while this average pace would project to crop year crush of 9.129 mmt, just slightly higher than the current AAFC crush target for the year.
As seen on the attached chart, cumulative crush for 2017/18 (black line) is trailing year-ago volumes, represented by the blue shaded area. The cumulative volume as of March is 2% lower than the same period in 2016/17, having trailed the year-ago pace in each of the eight months reported by Statistics Canada for this crop year. This is the first time in four years that cumulative crush as of March trailed the volumes processed in the previous crop year.
Since the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) ceased reporting weekly crush volumes at the end of January, focus has shifted to weekly domestic disappearance statistics reported in the Canadian Grain Commission's Grain Statistics Weekly along with the monthly Statistics Canada Crushing statistics of major oilseeds for Canada report. At the time of the COPA announcement, I approached the CGC for its explanation of how weekly disappearance was calculated in comparison to the volumes reported by COPA members. The following explanation was provided by Statistician Kevin Morgan:
"The numbers that that CGC presents as domestic disappearance in the Grain stats weekly are in no way linked or tied to decisions made by COPA Publishing. All values that the CGC obtains for use in our publications of movements and processing from Canadian grain are either sourced from our work in inspection and weighing oversight at terminal elevators, or as a requirement to report grain handling information to the CGC (as a condition of licensing) in the case of primary, process and grain dealer licensee classes."
A rough comparison of weekly CGC data along with monthly Statistics Canada, pro-rating weekly data for comparison's sake, shows the CGC's disappearance data lagging Statistics Canada by 70,399 mt in February and by just 7,041 mt in March.
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