Canada exported more canola oil this year than in previous years with the largest volumes heading to the USA and China but Europe re-emerging as a buyer, according to a report by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) based on Canola Council of Canada data.

The country’s canola oil exports reached just under 3.4M tonnes in the 2020 calendar year, the report said, which was a 7% increase on the previous year.

Strong demand from Chinese importers was cited by UFOP as the main reason for this growth with the country’s imports surging 26% to 1.1M tonnes compared to 2019. However, China's demand fell short of 2018 levels.

The USA bought a smaller volume than the previous year but remained the top importer bringing in 1.7M tonnes, according to the report. Other important purchasers included Chile, Mexico and South Korea.

With an import volume of 48,200 tonnes, the European Union (EU) ranked as the sixth most important destination. This followed a period of two years when the EU had not imported any canola oil from Canada, UFOP said.

The small rapeseed harvest in the EU27 had pushed up interest in buying feedstock and by-products from non-EU countries, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, while attractive world market prices had likely motivated Canadian canola oil suppliers to export the commodity.

Leading rapeseed supplying countries, such as Ukraine and other East European countries, had also been affected by weather extremes resulting in an increased supply risk in recent years, the report said.