The International Grains Council cautioned over a double whammy to world rapeseed production hopes in 2015, forecasting a “significantly smaller” European Union crop, and “markedly weaker” Ukraine output.
The Intergovernmental group warned that the European Union rapeseed harvest, the world’s biggest, was likely to fall next year well below the record 23.8m tonnes achieved in 2014.
Prospects have been hurt in part by a drop in sowings it estimated at 4% – more than the 3% decline forecast by Strategie Grains – taking area to 6.5m hectares, the IGC said, citing changes to EU subsidy rules which encourage growers to diversify crops, besides the setback of lower rapeseed values.
“Farmers were discouraged from sowings due to low prices and reduced profitability,” the council said.
‘Significantly smaller crop’
Furthermore, what has been sown has faced setbacks from dryness in major producing countries, besides the EU ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, amid claims that the spray was hurting bee populations.
Following the ban, “crops have been susceptible to unusually high levels of insect-related damage, notably in Germany and the UK”, the council said in a monthly report.
“Next year’s EU crop is likely to be significantly smaller.”
Winter rapeseed, one of the first crops sown after summer harvest, accounts for the vast majority of EU plantings of the oilseed, with spring crop typically significantly far lower yielding too.
‘Output is seen falling markedly’
The IGC also flagged a “marked contraction” in sowings of rapeseed in Ukraine, where concerns over winterkill have added to the deterrent from lower prices.
Plantings of winter rapeseed, which typically accounts for some 95% of Ukraine’s output, have fallen some 9% year on year to 860,000 hectares – extending a decline which has now seen them halve over the past seven years.
“This is a continuation of the steady downward trend of recent seasons, and reflects a gradual switch to spring sown crops which are less prone to damage from adverse weather,” the council said.
In Ukraine too, yields look set to fall back next year from elevated 2014 levels, although thanks to the hangover from the country’s turmoil, “as a difficult economic backdrop results in the likely reduced application of key inputs.
“Again, assuming a return to normal productivity, output is seen falling markedly year on year.”
The comments came in a report in which the IGC expanded on its downgrade on Thursday to its cut of 3m tonnes to 310m tonnes in its forecast for world soybean production in 2014-15.
The revision reflected a downgrade of 3m tonnes to 91m tonnes for Brazil’s harvest, reaped early in calendar 2015, following a dry start to the sowing season.
“Seeding has recently progressed slowly owing to continued hot and dry conditions across central areas, including in the key state of Mato Grosso, with heightened worries about depleted soil moisture and talk that some fields will need to be resown,” the council said.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/igc-flags-double-whammy-to-2015-rapeseed-prospects–7664.html)