By FWi staff

UK rapeseed prices inched up by 25p-1 over the week on the back of continued Chinese buying and a downward revision of the EU rapeseed carryover.

Delivered rapeseed is currently trading at about 115/t, with April-June deliveries at 116/t. Ex-farm values remain steady at between 105-106/t.

The MAFF December survey, published recently, showed English winter rapeseed plantings on non set-aside land sharply down on last year, with the commercial area down 29% to 278,000ha.

This signals that English growers have responded to low rapeseed prices by increasing the area planted to cereals, says Heike Hintze-Gharres of the Home Grown Cereals Authority.

She believes rapeseed grown on set-aside land will also be sharply down on last years record.

“This could leave UK rapeseed production well below the 1999 output of 1.73 million tonnes.”

EU planting are also expected to be lower this year, with projections for the 2000 harvest down 7-8% on 1999 at 3.3m tonnes.

This would reduce production by about 1m tonnes to 10m tonnes – but Ms Hintze-Gharres says this would still be the second-highest EU rapeseed crop on record.