March 1, 2013
Abares has made a whopping 19pc upward revision in its canola production figures for the 2012-13 season, bringing its figures in line with the Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) numbers at 3.1mt. The figures represent the second biggest canola harvest on record. ABARES said that while dry seasonal conditions impacted yields the impact on canola was not as bad as initially thought. And AOF executive officer Nick Goddard said there was some feeling within the industry that the eventual numbers could rise even further. “The general feeling from within the trade is that it could be a little bit above what we had previously anticipated,” Mr Goddard said. He said AOF would have final production figures, done using confidential figures from the bulk handlers and major buyers, by the end of March. While rain was below average, Mr Goddard said the big plant of canola, combined with the cool finish, meant the final numbers were destined to be the second highest on record. “It hit the bin just that little bit better than expected given the rainfall we had,” he said. “The year wasn’t great in terms of yield, but the sheer size of the plant bolstered production.” However, GrainCorp corporate affairs manager Angus Trigg said Australian exporters were easily finding a home for the product internationally. “Despite the large Australian crop, exports continue at a rapid pace and it is expected that the exportable surplus will be shipped by the end of May,” he said. Throughout harvest, Mr Trigg said there was a solid basis for Australian canola, but that had eroded to a point where EU and Pakistani end users were interested in purchasing Australian canola, which had driven basis back up. Mr Goddard said he expected the canola industry to consolidate on these gains. “I would expect the plant would come back a bit on the past two years, where subsoil moisture and the high prices have meant an enormous plant, but in the context of t he averages of the five years leading up to 2011, it will be very large,” Mr Goddard said. “I think we have pushed through that 1.5 million hectares that we saw five years ago, and you’d expect 2-2.5m hectares would be the new normal, especially in the short-term when pricing remains solid for oilseeds.” Oilseed futures prices have come back sharply in the past two sessions on overseas futures markets, but in spite of a $C20/t fall in Canadian futures this week, they are still at historically high levels after gains in the last weeks of January. “Global oilseeds markets rallied on the back of dryness in Argentina and capacity issues in Brazil in January, before coming back a bit on rain through South America,” Mr Trigg said. He said the premium for soybeans over canola had closed somewhat given the South American rain. In terms of Australian prices, the best quotes are generally around $560/t delivered port.