Analyst ups 2014 EU rapeseed crop forecast due good weather

PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Analyst Strategie Grains raised slightly its forecast for the 2014 rapeseed harvest in the European Union, citing good weather conditions in the bloc.

Rapeseed production in the 28-country EU is now expected at 21.4 million tonnes this year, up from the 21.3 million tonnes estimated last month and 500,000 tonnes above 2013 production, Strategie Grains said in a monthly oilseed report.

The upwards revision mainly concerned France, where the crop is now seen 900,000 tonnes higher than last year at 5.25 million tonnes thanks to a rise in the area sown. The 2013 French crop fell about 20 percent on the year after crops faced poor weather throughout the growth cycle.

In contrast, it cut by 100,000 tonnes its forecast for this year’s EU sunseed production to 8.1 million tonnes, now down 600,000 tonnes on last year.

At global level, the analyst forecast a drop of one million tonnes in rapeseed output in the 2014/15 campaign to 67 million tonnes, with the sharpest drop in Canada after a record crop this season.

In soybeans, the analyst pegged the 2014/15 global crop to gain 11 million tonnes from the 287 million tonnes harvested in 2013/14.

This would include a 5 million tonnes rise in the U.S. soybean crop due to a 5 percent rise in the area sown to the detriment of maize, whose prices slumped this season.

Global oilseed supply should grow despite higher demand, the French-based analyst said.

“On the basis of the forecast margins, crush should grow, but less than supply, and world oilseed stocks should continue to increase,” Strategie Grains said.

For the current 2013/14 season, the analyst raised its forecast of rapeseed imports in the EU by 300,000 tonnes to 3.3 million tonnes.

Taking into account a 200,000 tonne upward revision to demand, reflecting good crush margins, the analyst raised its estimate of EU rapeseed stocks at the end of the season by 100,000 tonnes 1.5 million tonnes.

“Canadian logistical difficulties continue to dominate the rapeseed market, with very low exports in the first part of the campaign. This benefits exports from Australia, whose loadings are currently very high,” it said.

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