04.10.2021 (www.zawya.com) - PARIS- European Union farmers are expected to expand the bloc's rapeseed area by 7% for the next harvest, encouraged by soaring prices on an expected drop in supplies to record lows, consultancy Strategie Grains said in a report.
The consultancy's initial sowing projections for the 2022 harvest forecast that the EU rapeseed area would rise to 5.60 million hectares from the 5.23 million hecatres harvested this year.
Other crop experts also expect a rebound in the EU rapeseed area after a sharp decline in recent years.
Rapeseed was also benefitting from favourable weather in much of the EU, though dry conditions were affecting southeastern EU countries, Strategie Grains said.
For Germany, the area was projected to rise 6% to 1.06 million hectares while in France it was seen increasing 17% to 1.15 million hectares, in line with other market estimates.
Rapeseed is the most produced oilseed in the EU and used for edible oil, animal feed and biodiesel fuel.
For the current 2021/22 season that runs to June, EU supplies are set to tighten further as an improved harvest is offset by reduced imports from drought-hit Canada and sustained demand fuelled by attractive processing margins, Strategie Grains said.
EU rapeseed stocks at the end of 2021/22 are seen reaching a record low of 0.9 million tonnes, representing a stocks-to-use ratio of 3.9% that would also be the lowest on record, it said.
Rapeseed prices are expected to remain very high throughout the season but could be curbed in coming weeks by an influx of Argentine biodiesel and the arrival of the U.S. soybean crop and late-running European sunflower harvests, it added.
Strategie Grains increased its estimate for the 2021 EU rapeseed harvest to 17.03 million tonnes, up from 16.93 million a month ago and 2.5% above 2020 output, mainly because of a raised estimate for France.
For sunflower seeds, forecast 2021 EU production was raised to a record 9.95 million tonnes, reflecting better than expected results in Romania and France, it said.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman) ((email@example.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))