Canada's Grain and Oilseed Milling Industry

The Canadian grain and oilseed milling industry, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 3112, comprises establishments that are primarily engaged in milling grains and oilseeds, refining and blending fats and oils, and making breakfast cereal products.

Significance

The grain and oilseed milling industry is a critical element of the food supply chain. Milling and crushing companies convert grain into food ingredients that often go to secondary processors, such as bakery or snack food manufacturers that produce finished goods to be sold through retail or delivered to consumers through other channels. Canada’s canola crushing sector has experienced prominent growth, with capacity doubling in the last decade.

Structure

In 2012, 204 establishments were operating in Canada with the majority in Ontario (61), Quebec (48), and Alberta (24). In the same year, the industry generated revenues of $9.8 billion and employed over 8,900 people. Canada is a net exporter of milled grain and oilseed products, exporting $5.9 billion and importing $3.5 billion in 2014. The United States accounts for 79% of exports and the majority of imports come from the United States (74%), followed by Italy, Malaysia, Thailand, and India.

Canadian grain and oilseed milling imports, exports and sales of goods manufactured (2012)
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The following figures are in millions of Canadian dollars.

Canadian grain and oilseed milling imports, exports and sales of goods manufactured (2012)
Imports 3,032.00
Exports 6,265.60
Domestic shipments 3,513.90
Canadian market (imports and domestic shipments) 6,545.90
Sales of goods manufactured (exports and domestic shipments) 9,779.50

Source: Statistics Canada

Performance

Between 2004 and 2012, sales of goods manufactured by the Canadian grain and oilseed milling industry increased 59.8% from $6.1 billion to $9.8 billion. Over the same period, exports of grain and oilseed milling products grew at an average annual rate of 12.4% and imports experienced an average annual growth rate of 5.6%. Imports as a percentage of the domestic market increased steadily from 34.9% in 2004 to 46.3% in 2012, while direct employment grew from 7,182 employees to 8,924 employees.

Canadian grain and oilseed milling sales of goods manufactured and employment (2004 -2012)
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Canadian grain and oilseed milling sales of goods manufactured and employment (2004-2012)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Sales of goods manufactured (in millions of Canadian dollars) 6,118.27 5,875.19 5,974.64 6,815.86 8,661.67 7,971.26 7,878.20 9,842.62 9,779.52
Employment (number of people) 7,182 6,933 7,058 6,941 6,951 6,714 7,042 7,849 8,924

Source: Statistics Canada

Note: The manufacturing statistics cited in this profile are taken from Statistics Canada’s Annual Survey of Manufactures and Logging, which lags behind the current date by at least 2 years.

Grain and oilseed milling, 2004-2013

Table showing principal statistics in the canadian grain & oilseed milling industry for 2004-2012
Principal statistics [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/11 AAG [b]
2007-12
Employment total (number of employees) 7,182 6,933 7,058 6,941 6,951 6,714 7,042 7,849 8,924 13.7% 5.2%
Employment – production (number of employees) 5,622 5,405 5,541 5,598 5,483 5,282 5,549 6,156 6,966 13.2% 4.5%
Employment - administration (number of employees) 1,560 1,528 1,517 1,343 1,468 1,432 1,493 1,693 1,958 15.7% 7.8%
Total revenue (millions $) 6,668 6,441 6,471 7,340 9,320 8,795 8,530 10,557 10,548 −0.1% 7.5%
Revenue from goods manufactured (millions $) 6,118 5,875 5,975 6,816 8,662 7,971 7,878 9,843 9,780 −0.6% 7.5%
Value-added, goods manufactured (millions $) 1,588 1,704 1,890 2,043 2,233 2,021 2,059 2,228 2,474 11.0% 3.9%
Value-added/worker, goods manufactured (millions $) 0.28 0.32 0.34 0.36 0.41 0.38 0.37 0.36 0.36 −1.9%
Value-added as % of revenue from goods manufactured 26.0% 29.0% 31.6% 30.0% 25.8% 25.4% 26.1% 22.6% 25.3%
Domestic market (millions $) 5,615 5,691 5,665 6,332 7,324 7,301 6,346 6,976 6,546 −6.2% 0.7%
Domestic penetration 65.1% 66.8% 65.6% 64.4% 62.9% 60.1% 58.0% 61.4% 53.7%

Note:

  • [a] Statistics Canada, Annual survey of manufactures and logging (ASML) (note there is at least a 2 year lag in ASML figures)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate
Table showing global trade statistics in the canadian grain & oilseed milling industry for 2004-2013
Global trade statistics [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013/12 AAG [b]
2008-13
Exports (millions $) 2,465.0 2,072.1 2,261.0 2,736.3 4,057.3 3,585.6 4,200.2 5,560.1 6,265.6 5,965.0 −4.8% 8.0%
Exports as % of revenue from goods manufactured 40.3% 35.3% 37.8% 40.1% 46.8% 45.0% 53.3% 56.5% 64.1%
Imports (millions $) 1,961.3 1,888.0 1,951.0 2,252.7 2,719.7 2,915.3 2,668.5 2,693.5 3,032.0 3,156.0 4.1% 3.0%
Imports as % of domestic market 34.9% 33.2% 34.4% 35.6% 37.1% 39.9% 42.0% 38.6% 46.3%
Balance of trade (millions $) 503.7 184.1 310.0 483.5 1,337.6 670.2 1,531.7 2,866.5 3,233.6 2,809.0 −13.1% 16.0%

Note:

  • [a] Industry Canada trade data online (Statistics Canada data)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate
Table showing trade statistics with the United States in the canadian grain & oilseed milling industry for 2004-2013
Trade statistics with the United States [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013/12 AAG [b]
2008-13
Exports (millions $) 1,715.8 1,508.4 1,644.8 1,982.2 3,197.7 2,665.2 2,561.7 3,842.2 4,172.9 4,304.6 3.2% 6.1%
Imports (millions $) 1,600.3 1,478.7 1,503.9 1,742.2 2,059.4 2,282.9 2,034.8 2,018.2 2,343.1 2,402.0 2.5% 3.1%
Balance of trade (millions $) 115.5 29.7 140.9 240.1 1,138.2 382.3 526.8 1,824.0 1,829.8 1,902.6 4.0% 10.8%

Note:

  • [a] Industry Canada trade data online (Statistics Canada data)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate

Contact us

For more information about Canada's food industry, read Significance of the Food and Beverage Processing Industry in Canada or contact the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate at sdad-ddas@agr.gc.ca.

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