Tight stocks to limit Canadian canola exports next season


Canadian canola exports and processing will ease a touch next season, despite steady production, due to a need to build stocks back up after a sharp drop in recent years, US officials said.

The US Department' of Agriculture's staff in Ottawa forecast sowings of canola, or oilseed rape, to rise by 5% in 2017-18, to 8.50m hectares "as returns remain attractive compared to other field crops".

With yields easing from the high levels of the previous season, production is seen flat year-on-year, at 18.50m tonnes.

Tight stocks limit exports…

But canola carry-in stocks have been falling in recent years, and are seen as 1.38m tonnes at the start of the next season, compared to 3.01m tonnes at the start of 2014-15, thanks to several years of brisk exports and crushing.

The carry-in stocks for 2017-18 are now seen at just 7.4% of total export demand and domestic consumption for the season.

"Canola seed exports in 2017-2018 will be limited by lower domestic supplies," the bureau said, as it forecast exports at 9.50m tonnes, down from 9.80m tonnes in the previous season.

…and domestic crushing

The bureau forecast the 2017-2018 canola crush at 8.6m, down from 9.0m tonnes in the previous season.

"Carry-out stocks of canola are forecast up slightly in 2017-18 at 1.38m tonnes for a stocks-to-use ratio of 7.7%, which is considered tight," the bureau said.

The USDA forecasts for production, exports, and crushing are in line with those made by the Canadian farm ministry earlier this year.

But the US estimate sees even tighter stocks than the Canadian government, which forecast stocks at 2.0m tonnes.

Meal exports to ease

The bureau forecast canola meal exports at 4.31m tonnes, down a touch from the previous season.

Most of Canada's meal exports are headed for use in the US diary industry.

"Growth in domestic demand from the Canadian dairy industry is limited by Canada's restrictions on milk production," the bureau said.


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