April 2018 Canola Prices Recap

When it comes to canola prices, April was a very busy month for our analysts. We covered daily market trading and turned our focus to a wealth of data that emerged from agencies and analysts around the globe.

This month we have talked about US trade policy, canola production in Europe, palm oil imports, and did the exercise of what the Canadian canola supply and demand sheet would like in 2018/19. Specifically, we have looked at:


As the month of April started, the canola market was still digesting the USDA’s Prospective Plantings report which showed that American farmers will plant a record 2.08 million acres of canola in 2018/19. This is slightly higher than year’s acres but not by much.

The week after, canola markets were impacted by concerns of a trade war between the US and China, specifically as it related to China potentially imposing a 25% import tax on US soybeans. Early suggestions were that, if said tax was realized, canola prices could benefit from additional demand coming from China as they substitute away from American beans.

For the remainder of the month, the canola market was mixed on bullish and bearish factors:

Bullish: a weaker Canadian Dollar, a strong Canadian cumulative domestic disappearance, and a seasonal strength.

Bearish: the slowing pace of the cumulative Canadian canola exports and weak soy oil futures.

The end of April provided a bullish report from Statistics Canada which showed that Canadian canola acres are expected to shrink in 2018/19, not hit a new record like everyone and their mother was expecting.

StatsCan estimated that just 21.4 million acres of canola would be seeded in the Great White North. With a bullish report like this, it seemed like canola prices would spike but, alas, they did not. We dug into why canola prices were staying suppressed in our last GrainCents Weekly Canola Digest.

From another perspective, the lower acres was somewhat expected as spring wheat futures were expensive relative to canola futures in Winnipeg over the past year. This means that it was, from an ROI perspective, more attractive to potentially seed spring wheat.

Canola prices are now likely going to get into the usual weather premium mode, but here’s the perspective of how canola prices did perform in April 2018:

  • May 2018: +1.6% or $8.60 to $531.30 CAD / metric tonne
  • July 2018: +0.7% or $3.90 to $532.30 CAD / metric tonne
  • Nov 2018: +0.4% or $1.90 to $518.50 CAD / metric tonne
  • Jan 2019: +0.5% or $2.40 to $522.50 CAD / metric tonne
  • Mar 2019: +0.7% or $3.50 to $524.8 CAD / metric tonne


Be sure to sign up for your free 3-week trial at GrainCents as this month could be the most impactful for how and when you price your canola for the rest of 2017/18 old crop, as well as a significant portion of your 2018/19 new crop production.


About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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