Rapeseed prices in Europe dropped below €450/tonne (US$488/tonne) on 21 March, AgriCensus reported.

Forward orders were also trading below that level on that date with May prices down to €441.50/tonne (US$479/tonne), August down to €444.50/tonne (US$482/tonne) and November down to €449.25/tonne (US$487/tonne), the report on the same date said.

Market sources told AgriCensus that they had expected to see some support for the contracts at the €450/tonne level and they were uncertain how low prices could drop.

“€450/tonne was my bottom and we are past that,” one source told AgriCensus.

“It can go as low as needed. I can't bet on a certain number, but rapeseed oil is quite pressured,” another source said.

Ample stock levels, high imports, and a good crop expected in Australia have put pressure on rapeseed and rapeseed oil prices in Europe in recent months, according to the report.

In addition, falling biofuel prices had undermined vegetable oil demand as a biofuel feedstock, while concerns in the banking sector had also been a factor, market sources said.

It was two years since Euronext rapeseed’s front-month contracts had traded at such a low level, AgriCensus wrote.

Prices have fallen by almost 60% from the highs in the middle of last year when the war in Ukraine sparked concern about supplies, according to the report.