Dreyfus’ Yorkton canola crush plant status still unclear


CNS Canada — Questions linger over the status of Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ canola crushing plant at Yorkton, Sask., which was forced to halt operations in late October due to an explosion at a meal storage facility.

The plant has reportedly been back in operation since the beginning of December, but the company will not confirm or deny those reports.

Sources in the eastern Saskatchewan city say the Dreyfus plant is again taking deliveries of canola from farmers, and has supposedly been processing canola since the beginning of December.

One local source said the plant was running, but at a reduced rate.

The company’s website confirmed there are local cash bids for nearby delivery. However, the most recent update on the plant’s operational capabilities is dated Nov. 25 and provides no clear date for reopening, aside from “as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Calls and emails to the company were either unreturned or directed to the Nov. 25 statement.

Data from the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA), which provides weekly updates on the country’s crush capacity, shows a sizeable jump in canola crushing between the week ended Dec. 3 and week ended Dec. 10.

There were 145,019 tonnes of canola crushed during the most recent week, up by over 11,000 tonnes from the previous week, marking the first time the crush surpassed 140,000 tonnes since before the Dreyfus plant was closed.

Some canola traders saw the increase in the domestic crush as a sign Dreyfus was once again operational. However, COPA officials were unable to confirm what, if any, capacity the Dreyfus Yorkton plant contributed to the weekly total.

COPA’s executive director, Jim Everson, said via email he did “not have an update on the plant.”

The Yorkton plant, which opened in 2009, has the capacity to crush 850,000 tonnes of canola per year, producing 350,000 tonnes of oil and 500,000 tonnes of meal.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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