The European Union rapeseed crop is forecast to slide 3.3 percent to a five-year low after freezing weather damaged fields, Oil World said.
Farmers in the 27-nation EU are expected to harvest 18.5 million metric tons of the oilseed this year, falling from 19.1 million tons a year earlier on a smaller harvested area, the Hamburg-based oilseed researcher wrote in a report today.
The EU typically grows about a third of the world’s rapeseed crop of about 60 million tons, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The oilseed is used to make cooking oil and animal feed and is processed into biodiesel.
“A disaster is shaping up for this year’s rapeseed production in some parts of the European Union,” Oil World wrote. “Winter killing and fungus infestation have come on top of the detrimental conditions last autumn when planting of rapeseed declined and when very dry conditions resulted in poor germination of the crop.”
Rapeseed production in France, the EU’s biggest grower, may slide to 5.2 million tons from 5.35 million tons in 2011. In Romania, farmers may harvest 180,000 tons of the oilseed, less than a third of the 670,000 brought in last year, while Bulgaria’s crop may slide to 270,000 tons from 520,000 tons.
In Germany, where rapeseed fields suffered from a spring drought last year, output may climb to 4.45 million tons from 3.9 million tons, according to the researcher.
Farmers in Germany will plow under at least 70,000 to 80,000 hectares (172,974 to 197,684 acres) of rapeseed because of winter damage, cutting the harvested area to 1.23 million hectares from 1.33 million hectares in 2011, Oil World wrote.
In Canada, farmers are expected to increase planting of canola by 500,000 to 1 million hectares from last year’s 7.6 million hectares, the researcher wrote. Canada is the world’s largest grower of the oilseed ahead of China, USDA data show.
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