AUSTRALIA exported 308,417 tonnes of canola in January, up 22 per cent from the December total of 253,437t, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The January figure indicates the heady pace of current-crop Australian canola exporters, with European and Chinese crushers again the major destinations.
New South Wales harvested its third consecutive small canola crop, which means it has been a buyer of bulk cargoes of mostly Western Australian canola for crushing in Newcastle.
The increased domestic demand has shortened WA’s export surplus, which along with shipments from South Australia, will provide the bulk of Australia’s canola exports this year.
Canadian canola is competing with Australian seed into Europe, but Australia has China’s canola market to itself because of the trade dispute which started around this time last year and closed China to Canadian canola exports.
Australian Oilseeds Federation executive director Nick Goddard said China’s demand for canola could well increase as the country’s economy changes to reflect COVID-19 lockdowns.
“There are now hundreds of millions of people eating in instead of eating out, and the general feeling is there will be more packaged oil, which includes canola oil, used in home cooking,” Mr Goddard said.
Table 1: ABS canola export data for November and December 2019 and January 2020.