The latest National Ag Statistics Service report for the week ending Aug. 16, indicates about 5 percent of the canola crop in the state has been harvested, however, cash prices remain unchanged from two weeks ago, according to Barry Coleman, executive director of the Northern Canola Growers Association.

Cash prices on Aug. 20, ranged from $14.14 to $14.60 per hundredweight (cwt.). November prices on that day had ticked slightly lower and were at $450 a ton, with the slight drop due to improved weather in the Midwest that some thought would aid the soybean crop and put a little downward pressure on the canola futures market.

However, Coleman noted that canola prices have remained fairly steady over the last few weeks, while soybean and corn prices have been subject to major downward action.

 “The canola market is continuing to struggle against overhead resistance, with a consolidation range between $440 and $450 in place for quite a while,” Coleman said. “There has been optimistic talk lately that Europe could be an expanded export destination for canola – especially for Canadian canola in the absence of regular Chinese purchases.”

In preparation for increased canola sales to the European Union (EU), the Canola Council of Canada is having a webinar on Aug. 22, which is designed to help Canadian canola growers certified for exports to the EU. According to the organization, Europe’s biofuel industry is a significant export opportunity for Canada’s canola industry. Answering a short questionnaire about your sustainably produced canola opens the door to this exclusive marketing opportunity.

“If Canada eventually will be able to export a lot more canola to Europe, it will help take up the drawdown in exports that was lost to the Chinese,” Coleman said “That should be some good news.”

He noted there was also a report out of Australia that the EU booked some new crop canola from Canada early last month, and there is the possibility of 2-3 million tons of additional sales coming in the next month or so.

  Finally, Coleman recently learned that China has removed soybean, canola and palm oil from its import tariff quota management, which has caused some to speculate China has discovered they still need the oil, but will not import as much canola and soybean seed. Instead they may develop ways to increase the vegetable oil they bring into the country and not import as much of the whole seed. That would be good news for the canola crush sector of the industry.

The last crop condition report listed 68 percent of the crop in the good-to-excellent category with 87 percent of the crop now colored.