EU-28 oilseed crop expected to be larger than previous year

April 16, 2017 |

In Germany UFOP reports that 2017/18 oilseed output in the EU-28 could clearly exceed last year’s production, an EU Commission report indicates. Especially rapeseed and sunflower crops are estimated larger. The European oilseed associations Copa and Cogeca disagree with the Commission’s forecast.

The EU Commission pegged the 2017 EU-28 oilseed harvest at around 34.2 million tonnes in its latest monthly report. Consequently, production of rapeseed, soybeans and sunflowerseed together would exceed the previous year’s figure by 8.3 per cent or 2.6 million tonnes. According to the outlook, the 2017 sunflower crop could rise 6 per cent to more than 9 million tonnes. Soybean production is expected to remain virtually unchanged at 2.5 million tonnes, just less than 1 per cent above the previous year’s level.

Rapeseed, the single most important oilseed by quantity in the EU-28, is forecast at 22.6 million tonnes, up around 13 per cent from 2016. On the other hand, the agricultural committee Copa-Cogeca takes a somewhat dimmer outlook, estimating the EU-28 oilseed crop at just less than 31 million tonnes. 2017 production of soybeans and rapeseed, in particular, is seen to fall below the previous year’s level. According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), it is too early to make a final evaluation.

Dry weather that has been reported for some production regions in the EU-28 and occasional pests such as pollen beetle can still give rise to substantial changes in the oilseed balance. Weather conditions during the incipient flowering stage are what determines yields. For this reason, the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants e.V. (UFOP) is, first and foremost, hoping for the now-needed rains to come. If the crop forecast comes true, 2017 oilseed production could be the second largest in ten years, behind the 2014/15 record.

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