Canada’s Grain and Oilseed Milling Industry

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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.

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.

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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.