Strong Pound hits old crop values

With little active farm trade old crop oilseed rape prices fell almost £3 over the week recovering slightly to £113/t ex farm.

New crop rape fell £3 to £107/t ex farm on the back of little interest in forward selling.

“Farmers consider prices as too low to sell forward, while on the other hand interest remains limited,” noted the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).

The picture was not good in Europe either as values took a downward turn during the week. And there is nothing to indicate any significant improvement in the near future.

The HGCA planting survey estimates that British farmers have reduced the area plantings to commercial rapeseed by more 15%. This reduces the area from 505,000ha in 1998 to 428,000ha this year.

Adding to the latest figures for rapeseed grown on set-aside land, standing at 120,000ha, this raises the total UK rapeseed area to about 550,000ha.

This is some 20,000ha above last yearís area and could lift production to between 1.6 and 1.7 million tonnes, said the HGCA.

With the pressure seen on prices in the past season these figures do little to paint a brighter picture in the coming year.

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