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Canola exports set record pace

(Resource News International) — Canadian canola exports are on pace to hit a record high this year, according to industry sources who expect the export pace to remain strong.

Canola exporter Lach Coburn, the West Coast manager of shipping with Cargill Ltd., described the current pace of export movement as “healthy,” adding
that “it’s busy and we expect it to carry forward.”

Coburn said he thought the strong
export movement was showing every sign of continuing, although he added that
there is always the possibility of unknown circumstances changing the


Canada exported a record 5.66 million tonnes of canola in 2007-08, according to government data. Weekly export statistics released
by the Canadian Grain Commission show that the pace during the current
2008-09 crop year of 1.81 million tonnes of canola exported as of Nov. 2,
is well ahead of the previous year which saw canola exports of 1.42 million
tons at the same point.

“If we keep this pace up, we’ll be breaking that number. But how high we get
depends on how long China can sustain their imports,” said Coburn. While credit issues were causing problems in some agricultural sectors,
there had yet to be any concerns on the canola side, he said.

“We’re looking at potentially record exports this year, partially because we
have record supplies,” said Glenn Lennox, oilseed analyst with Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada’s market analysis division in Winnipeg. AAFC’s forecasts currently call for canola exports in 2008-09 of 5.9 million tonnes.

“The wildcard is the world economic situation and how elastic the demand for
vegetable oil is,” he said.

Lennox said he thought global economic issues could eventually cause changes to
the export outlook, “but with everything else being equal and the
significantly lower prices, demand should remain strong.”

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