Oilseed rape prices have improved over the past week, buoyed by the bullish report from the US Department of Agriculture.
The drought led officials to downgrade the US soya bean crop by 12% to 73.3m tonnes. Ending stocks were forecast at just 3.1m tonnes, equivalent to 4% of annual demand and the lowest since 1964-65.
World oilseed markets jumped in response, with Paris rapeseed futures rising by €17.75/t (£14/t) last week before easing slightly on Monday. “UK prices were tempered by the stronger pound,” said Owen Cligg, trading manager at United Oilseeds. “There has also been a bit of rain in the US, which has maybe changed the psychological view, but we think it’s too little, too late.”
French and German rapeseed yields were better than expected, and the EU was likely to harvest about 19m tonnes, said Mr Cligg. “We still need to import about 3m tonnes, and are not competitive enough to attract those imports yet.”
UK yields were about 15% lower than last year, at 3.3-3.5t/ha, resulting in a 2.4-2.5m tonne crop, he added. “Historically, that is quite high, so we will have a reasonable exportable surplus. However, a lot could be moved before November as so much was sold forward.”