Canola demand grows

PREDICTING CANOLA'S FUTURE: Rabobank agriculture analyst Dennis Voznesenski believes government initiatives to curb emissions in the northern hemisphere will create opportunities for Australian canola growers.

CHANGES in the global market are expected to provide growth opportunities for Australia’s canola industry, according to a newly-released industry report.

With canola prices breaking records this year, the Rabobank report says Australia’s canola industry has more potential upside ahead, with policies to curb emissions in North America and Europe expected to lift global demand for oilseeds, and in particular canola, through to 2030.

Over the next decade, government initiatives to curb emissions in the northern hemisphere will fundamentally change, and be the key drivers of the global canola market.

Rabobank agriculture analyst Dennis Voznesenski believes these changes will present opportunities for Australian canola exports.

“The global supply of canola in the current 2021-22 season has been severely reduced by drought in Canada, the world’s largest canola exporter, and by continued heavy EU (European Union) import demand, and this has been benefiting Australia and other exporters,” the report says.

“Domestically, canola prices are edging towards the $1000 a tonne mark, while overseas markets broke through that level earlier in the year.

“A substantial lift in global canola production is expected next season, driven by improved seasonal conditions and elevated prices, which will expand acreage worldwide.

“Both will contribute to a large re-supply globally,” Mr Voznesenski said.

“However, in 2024-25, we expect new Canadian crushing capacity to come online to supply a growing renewable diesel sector across North America and this will reduce Canada’s exportable surplus, primarily to price-sensitive markets in Asia and Mexico, but also to Europe.”

Canada typically produces close to 30 per cent of the world’s canola and accounts for around 64 per cent of global exports.

“Then, from 2026-27 onwards, we expect a sizeable reduction in the EU’s use of palm oil, as a feedstock for biodiesel, as it is phased out to meet sustainability commitments,” Mr Voznesenski said.

“The feedstock gap created will deliver an opportunity for even greater use of canola in the EU.

“Even under favourable European growing conditions, we could see EU import demand for canola then rise to levels similar to those of recent drought years.”

Both these factors will lift global demand for canola, the report says.

However just how much Australian canola and canola prices will benefit will depend on a number of variables.

These include how quickly the EU phases out palm oil in biofuels and how much Canadian canola exports drop, as well as how much global production grows and what additional sustainability requirements may be placed on Australian canola.

“While the road to 2030 for canola contains many uncertainties, we can be sure that the global exportable surplus is on a downward trajectory,” Mr Voznesenski said.

“This will create opportunities for the Australian canola industry and in years when global production significantly underperforms, which it inevitably will, shortages will result in even greater opportunities for Australia.”

“Australia can lift canola production, and it will continue to have an export surplus, potentially much larger in periods of supportive price signals and favourable seasonal conditions.

However, its capacity to fully capitalise on the opportunities presenting over the course of the decade will depend on meeting sustainability credentials and being ‘fit’ for the future global market.”