Beijing / Reuters — China is expected to import a record 5 million tonnes of canola in 2014, a rise of 64 per cent from last year, due to profitable crush margins and lower domestic production, said an official think-tank on Tuesday.
China mainly imports canola from Canada. Canada had a record domestic harvest in 2013, but output this year is expected to fall 21.6 per cent.
Beijing’s stockpile of domestic output for state reserves has supported domestic prices above 5,100 yuan (945.5 Canadian dollar) per tonne, more than 40 per cent higher than imported prices, including freight and tax, triggering mills to increase imports.
ICE Canada nearby November canola contract were traded at $448.10 per tonne on Monday.
China’s imports from October to December are seen at a total of between 1.0-1.2 million tonnes, according to the estimate by the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC).
China shipped in 3.91 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year, a rise of 55 per cent from a year-ago period.
“Rising imports will offset a supply gap from a lower domestic output,” said the centre. It did not give domestic output figure.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics put the country’s 2014 rapeseed harvest at 13.76 million tonnes, a rise of 2.5 per cent on year, but the data has been widely doubted by traders and industry analysts.