‘No news is good news’ for Canadian canola exports

(Canola Council of Canada photo)

CNS Canada — Steady end-user demand and a lack of any problems from a logistics standpoint are keeping Canadian canola exports moving at a solid pace — but a repeat of the record business of 2013-14 is still unlikely.

“There is still some demand out there, but it’s probably not as strong as (at) the beginning of the crop year,” said canola exporter Adrian Man, assistant vice-president for Asia Pacific at Richardson International.

Transportation and weather issues that caused some problems over the past winter were still a concern for buyers, which likely led to some front-loading of business this crop year, he said.

Canada has exported 3.14 million tonnes of canola during the 2014-15 crop year as of Dec. 7, which compares with 2.75 million at the same point a year ago, according to Canadian Grain Commission data.

Total exports for the year are currently forecast at 8.4 million tonnes by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which would compare with the record 9.01 million tonnes moved the previous year.

Regular customers are in the market making routine purchases, Man said, pointing to China, Mexico, Dubai and Pakistan. Overall, he described the export market as “quiet” with no major problems to speak of in moving canola.

After the logistics issues of 2013-14, the lack of drama was welcome for exporters, but Man said the total export program would still likely be down slightly on the year, given the smaller crop.

Activity in other oilseed markets, especially South American soybeans, will also be a factor in the canola export program going forward.

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

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