Western Australian canola industry

Page last updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2023 - 2:10pm

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Canola is an important crop in Western Australia, with production over the last five years estimated at 2.2 million tonnes worth around $1.2 billion to the state economy each year. Nearly all WA canola production is exported, predominantly into Asia for human use and to Europe for biofuel production.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has a strong canola research, development and extension program with a focus on developing profitable agronomic packages and overcoming pest and disease constraints.


Canola is Western Australia's third largest broadacre crop after wheat and barley with production being an estimated 3 million tonnes in 2021/22.

Wheat, Barley and Canola production data in Western Australia from 2000-2022
Wheat, Barley and Canola production in Western Australia

WA is the dominant Australian state for canola production, accounting for nearly 50% of the nation's five-year average production of 4 million tonnes.

As well as being profitable in its own right, canola has become the most important break crop in WA cereal production systems - overtaking lupin due to higher profitability and better weed control options.

WA canola is grown using sustainable farming systems that can be certified to meet the sustainability criteria required to access the European Union markets.

Both conventional and genetically modified canola varieties are grown in WA, with strict segregation in the supply chain allowing the two systems to co-exist.


WA exports 90% of all the canola it produces - accounting for over half of the nation's total canola exports.

The value of WA canola exports have been increasing strongly since 2000 and are running at a five-year average of around $1.2 billion per year.

The major markets for WA canola in 2022 were the European Union, followed by Japan and UAE. Canola is used for both production of biodiesel and food in the EU.

Canola is also processed locally and exported as canola oil to Taiwan, Japan, China and Vietnam. 


At present, there are two locally based canola crushing operations and both are small by international industry standards. These are located at Pinjarra and Kojonup. Between the two local crushers, there are about 60,000 tonnes of canola seed per year processed - representing less than 5% of the state’s total canola production.


Madeleine Farias
Timothy Scanlon