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The European Union (EU)’s total production of three major oilseeds – rapeseed, soyabeans and sunflowerseeds – is expected to increase by 6% in the 2023/24 marketing year (MY), according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This increase would be due to a 2% increase in planted area and higher average yields, the USDA said in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report.

An almost 4% increase in rapeseed planted area and an increased sunflower planted area more than offset an almost 2% decline in soyabean planted area, the 11 September European Union: Oilseeds and Products report said.

“Compared to the previous MY, where heat and drought significantly reduced yields of especially late crops, soyabean production is forecast to be over 16% up, sunflower production 12% up, and rapeseed production almost 2% up,” the USDA said.

Soyabean and sunflowerseed crushing is also forecast to grow, according to the European Union: Oilseeds and Products report.

“Crush margins are favourable and there is increasing demand for vegetable oils in the food industry sector. In particular, food consumption of soyabean oil and to some extent sunflower oil – partially substituting palm oil - is projected to increase significantly,” the USDA said.

Total feed use of meals in the EU is forecast to be flat in 2023/24, according to the report.

“A recovering poultry sector is projected to use slightly more soyabean meal which will make up for a decline in rapeseed and sunflower meal driven by a declining livestock sector,” the USDA said.

The latest USDA report updated several sections – including rapeseed, soyabeans and sunflowerseeds – of the EU’s Oilseeds and Products Annual report published in April.