Canadian Rapeseed Seen by Oil World Pressured Amid Bottlenecks

Canadian rapeseed shippers aren’t benefiting from a drop in prices relative to those in Europe as logistical constraints prevent them from ramping up exports, Oil World said.

The price of canola, a variety of rapeseed, was at a discount of about $100 a metric ton on ICE Futures Canada in Winnipeg, relative to the comparable contract in Paris last week, the Hamburg-based researcher said in an e-mailed report. Canada’s canola harvest may rise 29 percent to 18 million tons, leaving inventories at 2.8 million tons, it said. Canada is the world’s biggest rapeseed exporter and the second-largest producer, after the European Union.

“The recent price decline has considerably improved the competitiveness of Canadian canola on the world market,” Oil World said. “However, infrastructure shortages are making it very difficult for Canadian exporters and foreign importers to take full advantage of the current attractive prices.”

Global exports of rapeseed and canola were a record 6.3 million tons from July through November, 29 percent higher than a year earlier, Oil World said. Canadian exports during that period were 3.1 million tons, a five-year low, according to the report. Canada’s share of global exports dropped to 49 percent during that period, compared with 66 percent a year earlier. Ukraine’s shipments more than doubled to 1.95 million tons.

Canadian grain handlers may need about twice as many rail cars as normal to move all of this year’s harvest, with about 95 percent of the country’s crops shipped by train, Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Winnipeg-based Western Grain Elevator Association, said in October. The country’s canola, wheat and corn production all reached records this season, while barley output was pegged at a five-year high, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

Imports of rapeseed are increasing to the EU, where crushing rose to a record 8.21 million tons from July through October, Oil World said. China’s imports climbed to 1.7 million tons in July through December, 400,000 tons more than a year earlier, with almost all supplies coming from Canada and Australia, according to the report.