EU rapeseed production to bounce back this year


The rapeseed harvest in the EU, the world's top grower, will bounce back this year, US officials said, adding support to a growing consensus on rising production.

The US Department of Agriculture's bureau in Vienna forecast EU rapeseed production to rise by 600,000 tonnes year-on-year, to 21.0m tonnes, thanks to rising yields.

"Except for winterkill reported in some EU member states (mainly Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland), planting and growing conditions for oilseeds are good," the bureau said.

But officials did note that "weather conditions in April and May will be crucial for spring plantings and the yields and quality of the rapeseed crop".

Consensus on rising production

The USDA forecast falls behind that made by the European Commission, which at the end of last month raised its forecast for the 2017 rapeseed crop by 540,000 tonnes, to 22.55m tonnes.

And Coceral last month forecast EU rapeseed production up 500,000 tonnes year on year, at 21.0m tonnes.       

The International Grain Council forecast rapeseed production at 21.5m tonnes this month.

Meal demand to remain high

The bureau forecast EU soybean meal imports to ease a touch, from the high levels of the previous season, to 19.30m tonnes, remaining the world's top ranked soymeal importer, as rapeseed demand increases.

"Due to the demand from the livestock sector, rapeseed meal use is expected to increase by 0.8%," the bureau said.

"The growing EU poultry sector is specifically responsible for driving higher demand for protein feed."

Total use of vegetable oils is forecast to ease a touch, to 25.5m tonnes, due to decreased biofuels use for vegoils.

"Since more and more vegetable oils are being replaced by waste fats and oils, the use of vegetable oils for biofuels production is declining," the bureau said.

"This is particularly the case for palm oil. Most EU biodiesel production uses rapeseed oil as the main feedstock."


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