This week, the intense debate among market players centres on the planted area for rapeseed, with most European players having planted in the August to late October period in 2023. Industry insiders, in discussions with Mintec, express the belief that the European planted area may be lower than initially anticipated, estimated at around 5.65 million hectares. This estimate signifies a significant decline compared to the 6.10 to 6.15 million hectares harvested in 2023, according to the European Commission.
Lower margins and weather concerns into 2024 are cited as key factors influencing farmers to plant less rapeseed, opting instead for different crops to secure a margin. The diminished planted area coincides with wet weather reported by Crop Monitoring in Europe (MARS), where continuous precipitation observed in Germany, Austria, Czechia, and Poland has surpassed the long-term average (LTA) by threefold. This situation raises concerns about substantial crop abandonment and damage, the extent of which is currently challenging to calculate, as indicated by industry insiders.
Furthermore, the MARS report highlights the heightened precipitation, coupled with rapid snowmelt induced by above-average temperatures, leading to increased soil water content in already saturated soils, particularly in Germany. These issues within key European growing nations like Poland and Germany contribute to market players sharing with Mintec their expectation of a production decline of approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes in 2024 compared to the previous season. This projection places the rapeseed crop at around 18 to 18.3 million metric tonnes—potentially the smallest crop since the 2021/22 season, according to data from the European Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
While the precise level of damage remains unknown, Mintec commits to providing ongoing updates on this issue over the coming weeks. Further insights can be explored on Mintec Analytics, where you’ll find real-time price tracking, expert commentary, and customized alerts. Book a demo today to unlock the actionable intelligence you need to stay ahead of the curve.