Error found in CGC’s canola disappearance number

Grain industry analysts will be pulling out the eraser on their supply/demand balance sheets to correct an error published in the Canadian Grain Commission’s weekly statistical report.

The CGC reported 4.86 million tonnes of domestic disappearance of canola as of Jan. 5, 2020. That is a staggering 1.04 million tonnes ahead of the same time last year.

The number surprised those in the grain industry who thought canola crushers were already operating close to full capacity heading into the 2019-20 crop year.

How could they be crushing an additional one million tonnes of the oilseed?

It turns out they weren’t.

“There was erroneous reporting by primary licensees,” said CGC spokesperson Remi Gosselin.

“There will be a downward correction.”

As of this morning, he didn’t know how much the canola disappearance number would be reduced.

Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada, was able to shed a little light on the situation.

“We’re about 300,000 (tonnes) ahead in terms of crush from last year,” he said.

That would suggest the domestic disappearance number would have to be reduced by about 700,000 tonnes when the Week 23 report is published on Jan. 16.

“I don’t know why those numbers are not accurate but I would say they’re not,” said Everson.

Domestic disappearance is a catch-all category for balancing the CGC’s supply and demand numbers.

“When we don’t know where things are going, they get put into domestic disappearance,” said Gosselin.

“If they’re not exported out of terminals they’re going to crush plants or who knows where else.”

As of this morning, the grain commission was still trying to determine what happened that put the domestic disappearance number out-of-whack.

The working theory was that primary elevators over-estimated how much canola was shipped to terminal elevators, so that number could be shrinking in addition to the domestic disappearance number.

“We think the mistake started in Week 19, just before the holidays,” said Gosselin.

Contact sean.pratt@producer.com

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