Canola prospects look bright in Russia

There is much room for the country to expand production, and China’s dispute with Canada may provide further impetus

There’s lots of potential for Russia to boost canola production.

Not only do Russian farmers have much room to improve their canola production results, but they are relatively close to the Chinese market.

With Canada in China’s bad books these days, Russian farmers might find more opportunities than they expected in coming years.

“It is still in its infancy,” Dmitri Rylko of the Russian farm consultancy Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said about Russian canola production.

With production methods today less advanced than in the European Union or Canada, there is a lot of room to boost production. As the Russian canola zone moves east, into Siberia, China becomes closer.

English farm production adviser Tom Arthey said Canada’s current problems with China might change the market situation, with China possibly looking to diversify its sources of canola.

“If that changes and China changes its focus from Canada and wants to look for other suppliers, Russia is ideally placed to take that up,” said Arthey.

In much of the rest of Europe, canola is beginning to decline as a crop choice, as pesticide restrictions, environmental regulations and the development of herbicide-tolerant crops have squeezed out much of its profitability.

Russian farmers don’t face the same challenges and might see more potential for the Chinese market now that China is blocking Canadian canola.

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