Small rapeseed harvest is pushing up imports in Germany

November 10, 2019 |

In Germany, UFOP reports that modest per-hectare yields and a small production area led to the smallest rapeseed harvest in the EU in 13 years. EU imports have already just about doubled.

The dry autumn of 2018 thwarted many a farmer’s sowing plans and led to the smallest EU rapeseed area in more than 10 years. Due to the unfavourable weather, total output in the EU and Germany hit rock bottom at just under 17 million tonnes and less than 3 million tonnes respectively.

In the preceding years, European oil mills processed 47 million tonnes of oilseeds, with rapeseed accounting for 24 million tonnes. EU rapeseed harvests covered just about 90 per cent of demand from oil mills. This figure is unlikely to be reached this year; the EU Commission’s forecast is for 75 per cent. As a result, there is a need to increase rapeseed imports. European oil mills purchased around 2.6 million tonnes from abroad in the ongoing season. This compares to only 1.3 million tonnes year-on-year. These imports will increase to approximately 5.5 million tonnes by the end of the marketing year.

Ukraine has established itself as the primary source of rapeseed from non-EU countries over recent years. In the running marketing year, the country has already supplied 2 million of the total of 2.6 million tonnes of rapeseed imports. According to information from Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), supply is supplemented by Canadian rapeseed this year. Due to the trade dispute with China and the associated surplus – China has previously been the main recipient of Canadian rapeseed –, Canadian producers are desperately seeking new markets. Canadian rapeseed is usually genetically modified and therefore subject to strict regulations which do, however, not exclude the use of the oilseed meals in livestock feed. The EU procures smaller amounts from Moldova, Serbia and Russia.

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Category: Fuels

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