November 22, 2011
China's largest state-owned grain trader COFCO Co Ltd has completed construction of four rapeseed plants, making it the largest rapeseed processor in the country.
The four crushers, located in the provinces of Anhui and Hubei and the city of Chongqing, will be able to process three million tonnes of domestic rapeseed a year altogether, according to reports.
Rapeseed is processed into rapeseed oil - cooking oil popular in central parts of the country, and rapeseed meal, an ingredient for animal feed production.
The market share of rapeseed oil has been declining in recent years to trail soyoil and palm oil as domestic rapeseed production has fallen while imports from Canada, the largest producer, have been restricted only to non-major growing areas since 2009.
The import restriction has forced some companies to set up new facilities in non-major growing areas along the coast, which will spur more rapeseed imports this year, analysts said.
Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc has set up a rapeseed crusher with annual capacity of 680,000 tonnes of canola in the southern region of Guangxi.
The China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC) expected 2011-12 (June/May) rapeseed imports to hit 1.8 million tonnes, up from 1.277 million tonnes in the previous year, because of expanded capacity.
Edible oil consumption in China, the world's major consumer, is seen rising to 29.8 million tonnes in 2011-12 (Oct/Sept) from 27.5 million tonnes in the previous year, according to the centre's estimates.