Japan Ranks First in Australian Canola Exports


Sep 22, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

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Australia usually produces between 2 to 3 million tons of Oilseed crops each year, with Canola and cottonseed accounting for over 90 percent of total Oilseed production, with soybeans and sunflower comprising a further 3 and 4 percent, respectively. Canola production is now the largest Oilseed crop representing well over half of Australian Oilseed production over the past 5 years, while cottonseed comprises around a third. There are also small quantities of minor Oilseeds such as safflower and linseed grown in Australia.

While Australia is a relatively small producer of Oilseeds by international standards, it is widely regarded for its high-quality exports and developed some significant international markets for its Canola and cottonseed exports. In general, the EU, China, Pakistan, and the UAE are important markets for Australian Canola, with China, Japan, and the US being the major cottonseed destinations.

Australian Canola is well known for producing one of the world’s healthiest vegetable Oils and is in demand as an environmentally sustainable feedstock for biofuel. Also, Australian Canola is famous globally for its use as a high-quality food-grade Oil. Australian Canola production is rising, averaging more than 3 million tons annually, making up 15–20 percent of the world’s export trade. Australian Canola is grown using sustainable farming systems and can be certified as meeting sustainability criteria for market access to Europe for use in biofuel.

Genetically Modified (GM) Canola has been available for production in Australia since 2009, excluding South Australia and Tasmania where only non-GM Canola is grown. Of the total amount of Canola harvested in Australia, GM Canola accounts for around 20% of the entire crop.

While still gaining industry and consumer acceptance in Australia, the sector delivers market choice for producers and buyers by providing separate and strict segregation protocols for non-GM Canola. This ensures that growers and end-users who require non-GM Canola can access it with complete confidence.

Canola Export markets by tons (january - September)

Australian Canola Export

Export plays a significant role in the Australian Oilseeds Industry, with annual earnings of over a billion dollars in shipments of seeds, Oil, and meal; Canola and Cottonseed are the primary export Oilseeds. The Department of Agriculture developed a “Step-by-step guide to exporting plant and plant products,” which should be consulted when considering the export of Oilseeds and meal.

Geographically, Australia is well placed to supply the export markets of Asia with high-quality Canola for Oil and meal production. Buyers of Australian Canola have access to both conventional and GM product. Australia annually supplies more than 2.3 million tons of Canola to Europe, China, Japan, and other international markets.

In recent years, Europe has been the leading destination for exports of Australian Oilseeds, increasingly used in the production of biofuels. This resulted in the need for Australian Oilseeds destined for the European biofuels market to be certified as sustainable.
The country exported 3.1 million tons of Canola seeds in 2021/2022. As per AgFlow data, Japan was the largest export market of Australian Canola with 0.9 million tons in January-September, followed by China (0.7 million tons), the Netherlands (0.6 million tons), and the UAE (0.3 million tons).

There are many organizations that are involved in the sourcing and export of Oilseeds and in exporting crude and refined Oil and meal. The major Australian Oilseed exporters are ADM, Bunge, Cargill, CBH, and Centre State Exports. The top 5 crude Oil exporters are AusOils, Cargill, Cootamundra Oilseeds, GrainCorp, and MSM Milling.

In terms of refined Oil (all bulk and 20lt; retail packs), Alba Edible Oils, Cargill, GrainCorp, MSM Milling (incl. retail), Peerless Food (incl. retail) are export leaders. For Canola Oilseed meal export, AusOils leads others, followed by Cargill, Cootamundra Oilseed, GrainCorp, and MSM Milling.

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