EXPORTS of Australian canola in February at 166,109 tonnes were down 43 per cent from 290,236t shipped in January, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Germany on 75,056t was the biggest customer for Australia’s February canola shipments, with China on 51,747t in second place and Belgium with 20,301t in third position.
In its canola supply-and-demand report issued 3 April, Lachstock Consulting said the bulk of Australia’s 2019/20 canola exports were shipped prior to COVID-19 impacting freight and consumptive markets.
“It looks like nearly all the product left the country before the new world began,” the report said.
“We have some minor details to flesh out in South Australia especially, but otherwise the job is about done.”
Lachstock estimates Western Australia will transship 130,000t of current-crop canola to New South Wales prior to new-crop becoming available.
NSW crushers normally source all their seed requirements from within their state, but drought has meant they have had to bring in tonnage from Victoria, South Australia and WA to keep their plants running at capacity.
“No further interstate transfers from WA to NSW are popping up.
“We are 75,000t done out of our 130,000t forecast.”
Planting of the NSW canola crop is estimated by trade sources to be around two-thirds complete, and well established in good soil moisture.
If all goes well with the season, crushers in NSW will have access to new-crop seed from November.
Table 1: Australian canola exports for December 2019 and January and February 2020. Source: ABS