Opinion Mixed on 2024-25 Aussie Canola Area 

With planting underway in some areas, opinions remain mixed on Australian canola acres for 2024-25. 

A Reuters report earlier this week said local analysts expect farmers to reduce canola planted area by anywhere from 4 to 20% from a year earlier due to better returns for wheat and barley and dryness in Western Australia, which last year produced roughly half the country’s 5.7-million tonne canola harvest. 

However, a separate report this week from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service suggested basically the exact opposite. 

FAS said it expected Aussie canola planted area to increase year-over-year due to more favourable price expectations versus wheat and barley, projecting 2024-25 harvested area at 9.38 million acres, up 8.6% from last year and potentially the second highest on record. 

The FAS report also said soil moisture conditions in the canola growing regions are now “broadly better than at the same time the previous year.” Further, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) indicates that the current La Nina conditions will ease to a neutral position during the fall, indicating a likelihood of average rainfalls and the potential for slightly stronger yields compared to last year, FAS said. 

FAS pegged total Australian canola production for 2024-25 at 6.5 million tonnes, up 14% on the year and the third highest on record. Exports for the new-crop season are projected to rise 16% to 5.1 million tonnes. 

Canola production in Australia – although much smaller compared to Western Canada – still matters to Prairie producers because the country is becoming an increasingly keen competitor in some international markets, including Japan. Australia typically exported about 2 million to 3 million tonnes of canola annually in the past, but those numbers soared to near 6 million tonnes in the 2022-23 and 2021-22 crop years in the wake of big crops. Aussie canola exports for 2023-24 year are forecast closer to 4.5 million. 

Meanwhile, a report from World Weather on Friday said Western Australia, along with South Australia, remain too dry to support ideal planting conditions, with little rain expected for the next week to 10 days. 

“The need for timely rain will increase across the country late this month into May,” World Weather said. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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