Understanding Conventional Canola Oil
Posted on November 2, 2017
Canola is a trademarked name of the rapeseed plant, a member of the mustard family, from which rapeseed oil is obtained. Canola is part of the larger oilseed complex and, like soybeans and some other oilseeds, is crushed into two component parts; oil and meal. It was developed specifically for its nutritional qualities and its low level of saturated fat. Each canola plant produces yellow flowers, which then produce pods. The tiny round seeds within each pod are crushed to produce canola oil. Each canola seed contains approximately 40% oil. The rest of the seed is processed into canola meal, which is used as high protein livestock feed. Canola oil is also an important feedstock for the growing biodiesel market.
Canada is the world’s leader in the production and export of canola. Once considered only a specialty crop in Canada, canola has become a North American cash crop as well. Today, it is grown in a much wider zone stretching from northern U.K. and Wales all the way to the other side of the world in Australia, where it is their third biggest crop. Canada and the United States produces between 7 and 10 million metric tons of canola seed per year. North Dakota produces more than 90% of the canola in the United States. Canada exports more than 70% of its canola production around the world, making canola trading a truly international market.
ICE Futures Canada Inc., formerly Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and now a division of the Intercontinental Exchange, facilitates trading in the world’s only canola futures and options contracts. Because this commodity is priced in Canadian dollars (CAD) per metric ton, canola traders may be exposed to a currency trade in addition to food and energy trades. NAFTA and CUSTA both carry their own limitation and tariff structures on canola trading.
Canola is an edible oil and must compete with all of the other edible oil sources in the world, including soy oil, peanut oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.
Canola oil pricing is based on two factors; the basis and the soybean oil futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). The basis is comprised of crush margin, premiums if applicable, and freight charges to destination. This component is relatively fixed. The basis value changes based on month of delivery and general market conditions such as supply, weather, cost of seed & transportation. For example; a tight supply period will reflect an increased basis value.
The market closes daily at 11:20 PST and the CBOT value can be held through close of business the same day and can be affected by weather, supply, and biodiesel factors, to name a few.
New crop is harvested in Canada in the fall. Key factors are weather and carryover from previous crop. January is usually a more stable time to contract as the market has calmed and quieted after new crop and carryover has been evaluated.
Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only. The information is based upon conditions at the time of writing and many factors can change the pricing and availability of crops. This information should not be considered purchasing advice. Please contact a GloryBee sales representative at 1-800-456-7923 to learn more