By FWi Staff

CRUSHERS are looking at the possibility of importing competitively priced rapeseed from Australia and Poland, reported the Home-Grown Cereals Authority yesterday (Monday).

They are prompted to look overseas as only limited material is currently coming forward from UK farms.

At home, rapeseed prices remained firm last week amid quiet trade, for much the same reason. Prices were also helped by the sharp weakening of Sterling. Ex-farm prices remain about 150/tonne.

Vegetable oils were boosted towards the end of last week when the news broke that India and China are seeking to buy significant quantities of edible oil on the world markets. In contrast, meal prices fell further as expectations of a bumper US soyabean crop continued.

The first oilseed area estimates were released by MAFF last week, showing that growers have continued to increase their rapeseed and linseed plantings on non-set-aside land. Rapeseed figures are currently 435,100 hectares, a rise of 13.7% on 1997, while linseed has risen 32.5% to 95,600ha.