Canadian flaxseed exports are actually up on the year, despite ongoing problems moving the commodity to the traditional European market. An export official said the increased export pace was largely due to a pickup in Chinese buying at lower price levels.
According to the latest Canadian Grain Commission data, Canada had exported a total of 400,900 tonnes of flaxseed as of April 4, up from 368,000 tonnes at the same time the previous year.
Looking into the details, nearly half of the total exports to date, 193,000 tonnes, have moved off the West Coast. That compares with only 5,200 tonnes exported via the West Coast at the same time a year ago. The commercial flaxseed exporter said those West Coast sales are primarily destined for China. “They’ve been good buyers, and everybody’s been able to put product over there,” said the exporter, although he added that “China’s a lower-valued market.”
The exporter agreed that the Chinese demand for flaxseed was helping alleviate some of the problems with Europe, due to the genetically modified Triffid flax issue, but the higher value of the European market meant that the industry would remain focused on regaining that business.