OILSEED RAPE prices have reached at least 10-year highs on the back of this year‘s small crop, but new season markets are weaker due to good growing conditions.

The nearby French MATIF futures market reached €312/t (£208/t) on Weds, Apr 28 – the highest since Home-Grown Cereals Authority records began in 1994.

“There is very little rapseed left in the EU and crushers are just trying to seek out the remaining supplies,” said HGCA oilseeds economist Josh Dadd.

UK values have broken £200/t delivered – equivalent to about £195/t ex-farm for May.

“The UK balance sheet looks pretty tight, but there will be a carryout,” said Nick Oakhill, oilseeds trader at Glencore Grain.

But new crop values have fallen by about £2/t in recent weeks, due to good crop prospects across Europe.

Harvest values of £156-159/t ex-farm were about £4.50/t off the highs of the season, said Mr Oakhill.

The EU crop was currently forecast at 10m tonnes, said Mr Dadd. That is 5% bigger than the 2003 crop, but yields still had the potential to fall dramatically before harvest, he added.