Europe’s harvest of rapeseed - a similar crop to canola - is expected to plunge to a 13-year low after dry weather crimped plantings and a pesticide ban boosted insect threats. As a result, import demand is set to hit a record 5 million tons in the season that started in July, according to US Department of Agriculture forecasts.
That may be a boon for Canada’s canola industry, which has been rattled by China’s decision in March to revoke import licences for two companies citing pests found in shipments. It is widely suspected this was done in retaliation against Canada arresting a senior Huawei executive last year at the request of the US.
With Canadian canola exports down 9.3percent in the 2018/19 grain year, the industry has started searching for new export opportunities as harvesting of the current crop gets started.
With most varieties genetically modified, European demand for canola as a cooking oil is limited, while canola-meal consumption is facing competition from cheaper wheat and barley. Prospects are better in fuel. The EU wants 10percent of all transport fuels to come from renewable sources like biodiesel made from rapeseed by 2020.