Canadian canola exports fell 7% YoY in the first half of this year, totalling less than 4.6mn t compared to 4.9mn t in the year-ago period. Exports to a western European market already bracing for a tighter new crop underperformed other export destinations, dropping 11% to 76,500t. Exports to Asia were also down sharply at just over 3mn t compared to 3.33mn t in the year-ago period, with higher shipments to central America and the Middle East picking up some of the slack.
The drop in exports will leave Canadian producers struggling to meet government expectations for a slight rise in shipments amid predictions of steady buying from China, Japan, Mexico and the US. Seeded area in Canada is expected to drop by 5% YoY in the 2015/2016 crop year, leading to a 4% drop in production to 14.9mn t YoY compared to an estimated 15.6mn t of output from the current harvest.
Government predictions for a higher crush this year appear closer to the mark. The government forecast in June that the domestic crush will rise by 3% YoY in the full current crop year on good canola oil and meal demand, readily available seed supplies and adequate crush margins.
Despite this year’s reduced crop, domestic Canadian canola crushing gained strongly in the first half YoY, rising 5.5% to 3.683mn t at an average of 267,000t/month. Canadian canola oil output was up broadly in line with a 5% gain to 1.604mn t of production.