The new canola-crushing plant at Yorkton, Saskatchewan owned by Louis Dreyfus Canada Limited and Mitsui & Co. is processing at 80 to 90 per cent capacity and should reach full speed within another month or two, the president of Louis Dreyfus Canada said Mar. 8.
The Dreyfus-Mitsui plant, which has an annual capacity 850,000 tonnes, is the first of two scheduled to open in Yorkton this year, with James Richardson International planning a spring opening.
The plants will sharply boost domestic demand for the oilseed, which has seen its exports of seed to China and meal to the United States, run into trade barriers in the past year.
Despite export restrictions to the two key markets, Louis Dreyfus president Brant Randles sees Canadian farmers planting another big crop of canola this spring because of its better returns than cereals, offering the new plants “adequate” supply.
“There might be occasional supply stresses if you have a regionalized weather event but we really don’t believe that there should be too many supply stresses in Western Canada given the overwhelmingly competitive position the crop’s in, vis-a-vis other cereals,” Randles said on the sidelines of the Canola Council of Canada conference in San Francisco.
Randles said the plant is targeting supply mainly from a radius of 150-200 kilometres (93-125 miles) around Yorkton. With returns for canola strong, there is room for farmers to intensify growing rotations to favour canola and expand supply, he said.