EU rapeseed prices fall, as imports from Ukraine grow

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/mbbirdy
© GettyImages/mbbirdy

Related tags Rapeseed EU Commission Soybean Ukraine

Rapeseed prices have fallen below the trading range they had trodden since June, with futures setting four-month lows, finds a review by CRM Agri.

EU Commission data this week showed that EU rapeseed exports in Q3 were, at 1.05Mt, 100Kt larger than had been thought, said the analysts. “While it is not clear exactly how the revision has been calculated, it appears that Ukraine has, at 574Kt up to Sunday, exported more rapeseed to the EU than had been previously reported.”

Ukraine has the supplies to back such shipments, after a record 4.3Mt harvest, reported the CRM Agri team.

“The question has been whether it has the means, given the dip in its export pace following July’s end to the Black Sea corridor deal. Ukraine’s overall 2023/24 grain shipments are down by 25%, although the lag in rapeseed, at 5.3%, represents a notable outperformance. This could be a sign of relative success in exporting rapeseed overland to EU crushers, as Ukraine did last year with sunflower seed.”

Ukraine rapeseed is attractively priced, with it offered at US$345/t at Ukraine’s western border, compared with, say, US$447/t in the benchmark French market of Moselle, noted the oilseed market specialists.

“EU crushers, meanwhile, have appeared relaxed over purchases, likely a sign that their stocks at the close of 2022/23 were far nearer the 1.8Mt at which the USDA reports them than the EU Commission’s 500Kt estimate.”

Soy market prospects

Recent market talk of better-than-expected yields for the US soybean crop has been countered by a trim to the official US crop condition rating, which remains at an 11-year low, commented the CRM Agri team.

Speculative investors, they continued, expect the USDA’s WASDE report tomorrow to trim the estimate for this year’s US soybean yield to bring it in line with the five-year average of 3.36t/ha. “There is little expectation of much of a change in the production estimate, from the current 112.8Mt.”

Overall, those analysts see soymeal and soy oil prices reviving, against a backdrop of drought-curtailed Argentine supplies and with uncertainty remaining over South America’s next harvest, early in 2024, which is being relied on to plenish world supplies.

“Forecasts for Argentina remain dry, as farmers prepare for soybean sowings. In central Brazil, [the temperatures remain high], with the planting window wide open in the key growing state of Mato Grosso.”

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