Keep An Eye On Rapeseed

The rapeseed market is developing into a very interesting one. Reports from the Ukraine Ag Ministry now suggest that as at 15th April 433,700 ha of winter rape has been lost to the harsh winter. That represents almost a third of the entire planted area, and is up sharply from an estimated 15% just two weeks previously.

A further 188,000 ha is in weak or thinned condition, they add.

Whilst much of the lost area is likely to be replanted with spring rape, it would seem that yields are likely to be potentially seriously threatened this year. Further concerns over output must also come from reports of urgently needed agrochemicals being held up at the border in a dispute over newly introduced import regulations.

The vast majority of Ukraine's rapeseed crop is normally exported to Europe.

Meanwhile report that in 2010/11 EU-27 rapeseed production "will fall nearly 2.9m tonnes short of consumption, a deficit 500,000 tonnes bigger than that in 2009-10."

That could take EU-27 ending stocks for 2010/11 to a very tight eighteen and a half days of supply, according to the USDA.

Those figures however appear to assume that the loss of demand from the Bunge plant at Mannheim, will be taken up by other processing facilities elsewhere in Europe. There certainly seems to be plenty of spare capacity around at the moment.