Increased crush capacity in Western Canada will result in a record amount of canola being processed during the current crop year and boost exports of canola oil and meal, according to a government analyst.
“Right now, I am forecasting that processors in Canada will crush 5.5 million tonnes of canola,” said Chris Beckman, an oilseed analyst with the market analysis division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
However, he indicated that the current canola crush is easily on track to hit the six million tonne level and could even surpass that mark.
Last crop year, 4.788 million tonnes of canola were processed in Canada. That was a record but Beckman noted crush capacity has grown considerably since then. Canada’s current crush capacity is estimated to be between seven million and 7.5 million tonnes, compared to an estimated range of six million to 6.5 million tonnes last crop year.
Beckman is forecasting canola oil exports for the crop year ending next July will be in the 2.1 million tonne range, with 1.2 million of that amount heading to the U.S., at least 700,000 tonnes destined for China, and the remainder going to a variety of smaller importing countries. Exports totalled 1.8 million tonnes last year, of which 1.05 million were sent to the U.S. and 650,000 to China.
Part of the increase is being driven by increased demand for biodiesel, said Beckman.
Canada’s canola meal shipments are also expected to jump, he said.
He forecasts canola meal exports will rise to the 2.5 million tonnes, of which 1.3 million will go to the U.S., 800,000 to China, and 400,000 to Mexico. This compares to 1.85 million tonnes last year, of which 1.1 million were shipped to the U.S., 550,000 to China, and 200,000 to Mexico.