Poor fall weather takes toll on EU rapeseed plantings

PARIS, France (Reuters) — The rapeseed area for next year’s harvest in the European Union could fall slightly as adverse weather prevents some farmers from carrying out all their planned sowings, crop consultancy Strategie Grains said.

The firm’s analysts estimate the area sown with rapeseed for the 2018 harvest at 16.4 million acres, down one percent from the area harvested this summer.

The planting intentions of EU farmers had suggested an increase in rapeseed area due to more attractive prices compared with other crops such as wheat, but drought in southeastern Europe and heavy rain in Germany and elsewhere in northern Europe were expected to limit actual seeding, Strategie Grains said.

Rapeseed is the most widely grown oilseed crop in the EU and is used to produce edible oil, livestock feed and biodiesel fuel.

The drop in rapeseed sowings, along with a projected two percent fall in sunseed area to 10.1 million acres, would contribute to a one percent decline in the total EU oilseed area to 29.9 million acres, Strategie Grains estimated.

It forecast the soybean area at 2.47 million acres, up three percent from this year.

The projections were Strategie Grains’ first for the 2018 harvest.

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