China imports record amount of rapeseed oil — most of it from Canada

Bottled canola oil.

Earlier this week, crop market analyst Chuck Penner shared a graph showing China’s year-over-year rapeseed oil (including canola) imports. The trend line since April 2019 is a rather steep line, and it’s straight up.

Penner, with Leftfield Commodity Research, says that the latest figure clocks in at 254,000 tonnes of rapeseed oil imported — a record amount, as far as Penner can tell. A little extra digging suggests that as much as 160,000 tonnes of the record amount came from Canada.

Since early 2019, China has put a stop to Canadian canola seed imports — citing an issue with pests found in some shipments, though Canada has been unable to verify the presence of the pests in question. So while it seems the country can do without Canada’s canola as a whole, the need for our oil remains.

In the audio below, Penner joins RealAgriculture field editor Lyndsey Smith to talk about this perhaps-surprising shift in canola product demand from China, what other countries are supplying the balance of the oil, and if Canada’s current crush capacity can capitalize on this latest development.