Canada, the worlds biggest canola grower, is running short of the oilseed six months before the next harvest, with strong export demand driving prices to nearly 13year highs last week.
Supplies of major commodity crops are dwindling worldwide as buyers hoard food supplies during the COVID19 pandemic. China is loading up on grains and oilseeds that it can feed to animals, raising food inflation and causing some nations to restrict exports of their crops.
Canola, known for its bright yellow flowers, is crushed mainly for oil to make French fries, mayonnaise and salad dressings. Its meal is also fed to livestock like pigs.
To Manitoba farmer Bill Craddock, it seemed like a good decision in autumn to sell all of his canola at high prices, only to see them spike even more this month. Still, Craddock profited off last weeks rally by trading small numbers of futures contracts.
Im entering my 51st year of trading and the market is as volatile as I ever remember, Craddock said. To try and make money from it, you have to stand your ground, and be right, or get killed.
The roots of Canadas canola shortage trace back to the autumn, when farmers reaped their smallest harvest in five years. Strong export demand for canola seed and oil then drove a latesummer rally that prompted farmers to sell more crop earlier than usual.
Those early deliveries to commercial handlers have helped Canada export nearly 33 more canola yeartodate over last year, according to government data. Top…