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Year-to-Date Canola Crush Slows Further in December

The Canadian canola crush continued to run ahead of expectations in December, although the year-to-date pace did slow slightly.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that 704,696 tonnes of canola were crushed in the final month of 2021. That was down 9.7% from the 781,105 tonnes crushed in November and almost 200,000 or 22% below the December 2020 crush.

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 marketing year in August, the total combined crush of 3.802 million tonnes was behind the same five months in 2020 by 567,391 tonnes or 13%. That compares to November, when the year-to-date crush was running a more modest 10.6% behind the previous year’s pace.

Still, the crush pace continues to outperform expectations. In its latest supply-demand estimates released in January, Agriculture Canada held its full year 2021-22 crush estimate steady from December at 8.5 million tonnes, down a steeper 18.3% from the prior year.

The sharp reduction in the 2021-22 crush forecast is of course due to last summer’s Prairie drought which slashed domestic canola production by about 35% to 12.59 million tonnes. Projected exports are expected lower by Ag Canada as well, down to 5.4 million tonnes from 10.53 million a year earlier.

In a presentation at the annual general meeting of the Saskatchewan Crop Organizations earlier this month, analyst Marlene Boersch suggested the 2021-22 crush would likely top the Ag Canada estimate, perhaps reaching 9 million tonnes. On the other hand, she said exports would probably fall short of the government projection.

With the decline in the December crush, StatsCan estimated the month’s oil and meal production at 293,945 and 422,998 tonnes, respectively. That is down from 325,474 and 464,977 tonnes in November, and 397,850 and 517,016 tonnes in December 2020.

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