AUSTRALIA exported 519,132 tonnes of canola in January, up 98 per cent on the December total of 261,982t, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The January 2021 total is up 79pc from 290,236t shipped in January 2020 and represents eastern Australia’s return to being an exporter of significance after three years of drought which decimated canola production in New South Wales.
Behind Western Australia, NSW is normally Australia’s second-biggest canola producer.
NSW is now in the midst of its first volume export program since 2016-17 following the bumper 2020 harvest.
With ample local supplies, NSW crushers no longer need to draw canola from Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria as they have in the previous three seasons.
This means the other states are now able to export tonnage surplus to their domestic-market requirements.
Crushers in Europe supplying the biodiesel market are the major customers for Australian canola, and January figures show Belgium, France and the United Kingdom to be the three biggest markets for the month.
GrainCorp southern supply chain senior manager Craig Cochrane said canola had formed a key part of GrainCorp’s early season grain-export program out of its ports which included Port Kembla in NSW and Geelong and Portland in Victoria.
“Canola will continue to be exported for the first half of the year, with our broader shipping stem across NSW and Victoria booked out until at least September 2021,” Mr Cochrane said.
“It’s been fantastic to have canola flying through the system once again.
“The quality has been really good, which has obviously provided great value to our east coast growers and to customers around the world.”
Among the January exports was a cargo which loaded at GrainCorp’s Geelong terminal and discharging this month in Liverpool.
The canola will be crushed at Cargill’s Brocklebank plant at the port.
“At the time Australian canola was required due to a combination of lack of EU grower selling and disappointing production,” a spokesperson for Cargill said.
Grain Central understands this is the first cargo of Australian canola to discharge in the United Kingdom since March 2017.
That was also a Cargill cargo bound for the Brocklebank plant, but loaded at the Quattro terminal in Port Kembla.
Table 1: Australia’s November and December 2020 and January 2021 canola exports. Source: ABS
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