GUELPH -- Canada will go close to producing its biggest ever canola crop, according to the nation’s official crop forecast, released last week.
Also read, Canada Settles Chinese Canola Dispute to 2020.
Canada’s farm ministry, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in its first forecasts for 2017-18, tipped farmers would produce 18.5 million tonnes.
If achieved, this would be second only to the record 2013-14 Canadian canola crop of 18.6 million.
The AAFC said the estimated jump in canola plantings was expected “as returns remain attractive compared to other field crops”.
Canada is the world’s biggest exporter of canola, followed by Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences estimated Australian growers would harvest the nation’s third highest crop of record of 3.6 million tonnes this season.
But the AAFC warned canola prices would ease “in line with an expected decline in world palm oil and soy oil prices”.
This season’s canola is now being bought for about $526-530/tonne, but March 2017 ICE canola futures dropped $CAN8.40 from last week to close $CAN515.20 ($516.19) on Friday.
Rural Directions analyst Chris Heinjus said Australian canola plantings were also likely to increase next season because of canola’s attractive price relative to cereals.
“This season’s canola was pretty good and contributed to gross margins,” he said.
Australian Oilseeds Federation executive director Nick Goddard also forecast more canola plantings next season.
“Agronomically it’s looking very good, and on pricing is it very good,” he said.
Mr Goddard said there had been reports of canola seed shortages and he said growers with open-pollinated seed would use their own to plant in autumn.
SOURCE Emma Field and Peter Hemphill, The Weekly Times
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