Canadian canola remains strong as international exports increase

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Canadian canola markets strong as international exports increase
WATCH: Canada is one of the world’s largest exporters of canola. Prices have been strong due to international demand, but as Quinn Campbell reports, high input expenses are cutting into producer profits – Nov 18, 2022

Southern Alberta farmer Joseph McKee said his canola did alright but the dry spring and hot summer did take a toll on crops.

“The canola took that heat spell, that heat wave pretty tough and so the crops looked really good but final yields were a little bit off from what we were hoping for,” added McKee.

Ian Chitwood with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission said that was the general feedback from producers across the province. However, strong demand for canola has kept the price high.

“Its been trending up lately but it definitely came down from the real high we were seeing earlier on in the year. The price is strong, we are around $19 a bushel,” said Chitwood.

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He said five years ago, growers were getting $15 to $16 a bushel, then it peaked earlier this year around $23 a bushel. But the cost of diesel fuel, fertilizer, herbicides and equipment has skyrocketed, cutting into profits.

“Canola is a very high input crop, it requires a lot of nitrogen, and it requires a lot of care. So despite good prices, we are being squeezed,” said Chitwood.

McKee said canola will always have a place in their crop rotation, but high costs could determine how much.

“With the dry weather we’ve been having, it is a little bit more risky. On our farm we have been slightly reducing our canola acreage – the percentage of our farm that’s seeded to canola every year – just because it is a little bit riskier, especially with high input costs,” added McKee.

A bright spot for canola growers this year is export volumes. China is buying more seed and canola oil after dialing it back a few years ago.

“This year in May they reinstated export licenses for Viterra and Richardson and we expect them to really get back to their pre-2019 levels of purchasing, so that’s going to be a big market for us,” added Chitwood.

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With more options on the export front, farmers are eager to see where the price will level out.

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