Canola crushers process record tonnage

Canada’s oilseed crushers processed a record 4.812 million tonnes of canola so far in the current 2010-11 crop year, data from the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) showed Friday.

The rapid pace reflects additional capacity from new plants in Saskatchewan opened by Richardson International and Louis Dreyfus Canada, as well as strong export demand for canola meal and oil.

Demand for canola oil has risen especially from the U.S., as food processors look for healthier oils, said Chuck Penner, analyst at LeftField Commodity Research in Winnipeg.

There’s still room for growth in crushing volume, Penner said, with COPA reporting crushers have used 86.5 per cent of capacity so far this crop year.

With more than two months left in the crop year, crushers will far surpass the previous record of 4.787 million tonnes set in 2009-10.

Crushers have processed about 1.1 million tonnes of soybeans in 2010/11, ahead of last year’s pace.

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