European rapeseed prices plummet

25 February 1999

European rapeseed prices plummet

A COMBINATION of oversupply and slowing demand has hit European rapeseed prices, pushing them down to record lows.

The May contract for rapeseed on the Matif, the French futures exchange, collapsed this week to its lowest ever at Euro181/tonne (£124.60/t at todays Euro rate).

This is 30% below the rape price just over three months ago, reports the Financial Times.

Sentiment has been damaged also by a record US soyabean harvest and concerns that the ailing Brazilian economy will dump its soyabean production on world markets.

Rapeseed is not a competitor to soyabean, but its price has been dragged down by low prices in those markets.

Europes largest growers of rapeseed are France, Germany and the UK.

The German crop reached a record last year, and bloated harvests from Argentina and Canada have added to world stocks.

An unknown factor is the level of imports by China, which could rise this year to make up for a smaller than expected domestic rapeseed crop.

China is the worlds leading rapeseed producer.

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