CIGI Reports Increasing Chinese Demand for Canadian Canola Seed and Canola Meal

CANADA - The Canadian International Grains Institute reports the demand for Canadian canola in the Chinese crushing and livestock feeding industries is building, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Although Chinese farmers have considerable experience growing rapeseed, the introduction of canola grade varieties has been very slow.

Canadian International Grains Institute feed director Dr. Rex Newkirk says, despite the difficulties, there is a growing interest in the nutritional benefits of canola in China.

Dr. Rex Newkirk-Canadian International Grains Institute

They've tried to move to move to canola grade varieties, meaning they have the low glucosinolates and they also have the modified fatty acid profile, the healthy profile, that we have in Canada but it's been very difficult to do there because the farms are very small and there's a lot of intermingling of seed.

Since the farm plots are about the size of my mother's garden, there's a lot of cross pollination so, even if you do grow canola on yours and you keep the seed, next year you've got rapeseed.

We've been working with Chinese producers, crushing plants particularly and feed manufacturers to understand what are the benefits of canola because they don't necessarily get to see them because they're usually experiencing rapeseed where they pay a very low price and only use small amounts and it's because of these toxic components.

It's particularly limited in things like pigs which can taste them quite quickly and back off the feed.

It's also limited in dairy and so the swine industry and the dairy industry is quite keen on obtaining canola meal but they don't necessarily trust suppliers in China because of this problem with intermingling and getting rapeseed mixed in so they prefer to buy seed purchased from Canada that's been crushed in China or buying canola meal directly from Canada but, so far, it's been difficult to obtain large quantities of canola meal to go into the Chinese market.

Dr. Newkirk says while the crushing companies and feed manufacturers in China are willing to pay a premium for canola grade seed, the cross pollination issue, has limited its availability.

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