Australian canola exports drop 15pc in May

Emma Alsop, July 8, 2022

Germany was the leading customer of Australian canola in May. Photo Nuseed

AUSTRALIA exported 578,885 tonnes of canola in May, down 15 per cent from the April total of 675,600t, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Germany was the biggest importer of Australian canola for May, with 295,278t, which is 140 per cent more than their April total of 124,097t.

The next largest customers were France with 92,784t, Bangladesh at 65,555t and Belgium with 63,470t.

April’s leading customer of canola, Japan, significantly dropped back it’s shipment from last month’s total of 156,621t to only 1,755t in May.

Germany was the leading importer of canola in May last year, but their 2021 total of 163,249t is about half this year’s figure.

This could be a sign that European Union, lead by Germany and France, have had to import more oilseeds from other countries to make up for the shortfall due to the Ukraine/ Russia conflict.

According to Lachstock Consulting canola market report released on Wednesday, the conflict is still playing a big role in the global market.

The report said the prospect of opening exports out the Black Sea is impacting the situation.

“The ongoing talks about opening up export corridors in the Black Sea continued to keep overhead pressure on the export markets, even though nothing material has come of the talks and Russia is yet to see a significant lift in export volumes at this point in time,” the report said.

On top of little progress with Black Sea movements, Lachstock is reporting that the surge in macro news has “caused a major capitulation in the marketplace”.

“[The] global inflation story has continued to gather momentum and with fears of a recession looming the macro market investors have started to exit.

“Combined with a market that was very long, prices at record highs and an ongoing political intervention, the longs just could not hold, and we saw severe stop loss selling last week.”

Uncertain northern hemisphere crop

Lachstock said consumers are still keeping a close eye on Canadian and United States crop conditions and weather forecasts.

“Weather in Canada has been on the improve and after a strong harvest sell-off led by European farmers, values there have started to stabilise on a relative basis,” the report said.

“We still have a long way to go in the northern hemisphere growing season, but you can’t stand in front of a freight train that is out of control running downhill.

“US crop conditions have been on the defensive, and the market will once again dust itself off and take heed of the weather markets ahead and have a close eye on consumers to see if they are willing to call a bottom and take some coverage after such a dramatic sell off.”

On the cusp of a local crop becoming available, the US cut their canola imports from 31,339t in April and 8,800t in March, to nothing in May.

Canada still clung on with 13t in May, down from 36t in April.

However, the US April import is not a normal occurrence, with the total believed be the first full cargo of Australian canola ever to ship to North America.

CANOLA Mar Apr May Tonnes
Bangladesh 16480 33649 65555 115684
Belgium 193773 147145 63470 404388
Canada 12 36 13 61
France 147980 81898 92784 322662
Germany 183258 124097 295278 602633
Hungary 0 0 0 0
Indonesia 0 0 0 0
Japan 56983 156621 1755 215359
Malaysia 6492 3686 1310 11488
Nepal 3715 2993 3509 10217
Netherlands 123241 0 0 123241
New Zealand 3900 0 0 3900
Pakistan 0 0 0 0
Poland 0 0 0 0
Singapore 0 0 0 0
South Africa 46 6 5 57
South Korea 1613 0 206 1819
Taiwan 565 0 0 565
United Arab Emirates 51792 61130 55000 167922
United Kingdom 56300 33000 0 89300
United States of America 8800 31339 0 40139
Total 854950 675600 578885 2109435

Table 1: Australian canola exports for March, April and May 2022. Source: ABS

Source: ABS, Lachstock

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