Canola holds steady as seeding gets underway

Crude oil pressures and potential for major soy exports weigh in on trading

Canola prices held steady during the week ended May 15, despite turbulence from outside markets.

Nearby canola contracts started the week at $471.30 per tonne and traded on either side of unchanged for consecutive trading sessions during the week. On May 14, the July contract closed at $470.70 per tonne.

July soyoil dropped by about half of a cent in the middle of the week, but managed to regain some of those losses by the end of the week. Strong export data has given soybean prices a reason to rally. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected soybean exports to China to total 3.527 billion bushels. If this projection comes true, it would set the record for the largest amount of soybeans imported in a single marketing year.

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Global crude oil prices were near five-week highs earlier in the week, following hopes of demand levels bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels as countries around the world ease restrictions.

Western Canadian Select futures have rallied after hitting around US$5 per barrel in mid-April. As of May 15, the June contract for WCS was $24.38 per barrel. However, that’s still about 50 per cent lower than the same time last year. Norges Bank Investment Management, a branch of Norway’s central bank, has blacklisted several Canadian oil firms due to greenhouse gas emission levels. That’s another blow to Canada’s crude oil industry, which was already suffering due to lack of demand.

Planting activity has given canola prices a bit of a lift, as producers focus on seeding instead of farm deliveries.

As of May 11, seeding in Saskatchewan is 18 per cent completed. The southwest part of the province was furthest along, at 39 per cent seeded. Alberta’s spring planting is almost 21 per cent complete as of May 12, with canola just over nine per cent seeded. In Manitoba, seeding is nine per cent complete, with canola seeding ranging from just beginning to 15 per cent complete.

About the author

Glacier MarketsFarm

Marlo Glass

Marlo Glass writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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