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Canadian Flax Exports Up But Prices Are Lower

Cash bids for flaxseed in Western Canada have been holding fairly steady and in some cases, have firmed, due to the fact exports of the commodity are pretty good.

Mike Jubinville, an analyst with ProFarmer Canada said there has been surprisingly good movement of Canadian flaxseed to China, but the value at which the product is moving is not exactly inspiring producers.

He said that when flaxseed values climb above $8.50 a bushel, the demand tap from China dries up. “The good news is that we are chewing through Canada’s old crop flaxseed inventory, but the price at which we are moving the product is not what it has been in the past,” Jubinville said.

Good movement has also been seen to the U. S. As of March 31, Canada had exported 373,300 tonnes of flaxseed in the 2009-10 crop year, which was up from 363,200 at the same time a year ago.

Shipments to Western Europe, primarily Belgium, were 150,500 tonnes, which was down from 297,300 at the same time in 2008-09.

Exports to China were 141,700 tonnes, compared to nothing in 2008-09. U. S. imports of Canadian flaxseed totalled 75,200 tonnes, up from 61,000 at the same time in 2008-09.

Jubinville cautioned the cash bids at the high end of the scale are based on the flaxseed testing clean, meaning no traces of GM “Triffid” contamination.

“If the flax does not test clean, you do not get the top-end value,” he said.

Jubinville noted that even certified flax being sold by the seed dealers is not testing clean, meaning a very deep-rooted problem exists.

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