The expansion in canola crush capacity in Western Canada over the next few years is expected to create opportunities to not only maximize the amount of canola meal in domestic animal feed rations, but also to unlock new demand for feeding livestock and fish in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We’re probably seeing about another three million tonnes of canola meal coming onto the market, and so that’s basically doubling our meal production locally. And as we start looking at our markets, we’re thinking about we utilize that ingredient,” explains Rex Newkirk, associate professor and Research Chair in Feed Processing Technology at the University of Saskatchewan, in this Canola School episode.
While Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia are often cited as growing markets that could use more canola meal from Canada in producing meat and milk, Newkirk recently returned from a trip to the Indo-Pacific region, where he met with potential customers in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
“We’re just trying to figure out what is the appetite? What do we have to do to get in those markets and to develop those opportunities. People want canola meal, they need canola meal. It all comes at a price and and we’re going to have that supply, so it just means we’re going to have to diversify our markets a bit more,” he says.
China is already Canada’s second largest canola meal market, next the U.S., and is at the top of the list of markets that will likely see increased canola meal exports as new crush capacity comes on stream. However, as evidenced by restrictions on canola seed over the last few years, there’s a geopolitical risk factor built into exports to China.
“It’s sort of a two-edged sword,” acknowledges Newkirk. “They are our largest export market outside of the U.S. and they have such growing demand. You can see lots of potential there, and and I’d certainly like to see more going there. But of course, there are political issues and things with the relationship that makes it challenging…but at the same time, they are such a growing, large market, we just can’t ignore them.”
Check out the Canola School video below, recorded at Canola Week in Saskatoon, Sask, for more with Rex Newkirk of the University of Saskatchewan on future demand for Canadian canola meal in Asian markets: