Oilseed rape: Drought leads to a further decline in cultivated area in the EU

Early autumn rainfall in Europe is likely to fuel the growth of canola, but it has come too late to prevent acreage decline in France, where stocks were hit by drought in late summer, analysts and traders said.
In the European Union and Great Britain, the production of rapeseed, the most common oilseed there, has declined over the past two years due to adverse weather and insect problems.
In France, heavy rain has been hindering sowing since last week and is causing a further decline in cultivated area, after it had shrunk from around 1.5 million hectares in previous years to 1.1 million hectares in the last two years. "We estimate that the area will be less than 1 million hectares," said a French oilseed trader. "The rain could be good for the harvest and increase the yield potential, but it is too late to sow." Farmers originally planned to sow the same amount of land harvested that year, traders and analysts said.
In the UK, as in France, farmers have tried to curb insect damage after banning insecticides called neonicotinoids, which are believed to be responsible for harming bees. UK canola acreage is expected to decline again as growers are deterred by rising costs and falling yields. For this year's harvest, the area in England fell by 29% to 351,000 hectares, according to the government.
In Germany and Poland the conditions were more promising. "The weather was dry during the planting window, but I think it rained just enough to do the job nationally without any major problems," said a German analyst. "The ground is dry and we will need more rain when we go into autumn, but I think the overall picture is satisfactory right now." Germany's rapeseed area could be expanded by 70,000 to 100,000 hectares from the 954,000 hectares harvested this summer. Farmers were encouraged by adequate yields for the 2020 harvest.
In Poland, the sowing of winter rape has also been completed and should at least reach the level of this year's harvest, said Wojtek Sabaranski of analyst Sparks Polska. "For the most part, rape was sown on time," said Sabaranski. "Heavy rains at the end of August / beginning of September favored the harvest." Poland harvested around 830,000 hectares this summer.

Hansa Terminhandel GmbH
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