Record canola crush pace seen, byproduct exports to drop

The steady rise in crush capacity in Canada will result in a record amount of canola being processed during the 2011-12 crop year, but exports of canola oil and meal were seen declining, a government analyst reports.

The decline in canola oil and meal exports is expected to be consumed domestically.

"Right now, I am forecasting that processors in Canada will crush 6.5 million metric tons of canola in my current supply/demand forecast," said Chris Beckman, an oilseed analyst with the market analysis division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Winnipeg.

The current crush pace record was established during the 2010-11 crop year, when 6.31 million tonnes of canola were processed in Canada.

Beckman noted that the new record crush pace will be tied to the increased capacity of processors. Canada’s current crush capacity, he noted, is estimated to be between 7.5 million and eight million tonnes.

While the increase in domestic processing will result in more canola seed being processed, exports of canola oil and meal from Canada in 2011-12 will be down slightly from the 2010-11 level.

He projected that Canadian canola oil exports in 2011-12 would be in the 2.34 million-tonne range, with 1.3 million of that amount heading to the U.S. and at least 800,000 tonnes destined for China. The European Union was seen importing around 150,000 tonnes of Canadian canola oil in 2011-12.

In 2010-11, Canada’s canola oil exports totalled 2.432 million tons, of which 1.358 million were sent to the U.S. and 676,000 to China. EU canola oil imports in 2010-11 were pegged at 143,000 tonnes.

Increased biodiesel requirements by the various governments continue to grow, which has created strong demand for canola oil in general, Beckman noted.

Mike Jubinville, an analyst with ProFarmer Canada, felt the steady increase in Canadian canola oil shipments to the EU was especially interesting, and reflected deficits in EU winter rapeseed production.

The EU can’t directly import raw Canadian canola seed due to rules restricting imports of genetically modified crops, but buyers are allowed to bring in the crushed oil for further processing, he noted.

Canada’s canola meal shipments were also expected to see a small decline in 2011-12, Beckman said.

He forecast that canola meal exports from Canada in 2011-12 would hit 2.805 million tonnes, of which 1.6 million would go to the U.S., 600,000 to China, and 550,000 to Mexico.

In 2010-11, Canada’s canola meal exports totalled 2.989 million tonnes, of which 1.875 million were shipped to the U.S., 926,500 to China and 96,100 to Mexico.

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