The summer heatwave in Europe is threatening the region’s rapeseed crops and is expected to lead to a significantly smaller harvest than previously forecast and higher rapeseed prices.

In France and Germany, and outside the EU in Ukraine, rapeseed crop yields and in some cases oil content were expected to be low, said German Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) on 26 July.

Based on data from Agrarmarkt-Informationsgesellschaft (AMI), the yield decline could range from 10% to 40%, depending on the region, and market observers were expecting Germany to see the smallest rapeseed harvest in 10 years.

German post-farm rapeseed prices for the 2018 crop had already increased substantially since the beginning of July, going up €11 (US$12.8) to €347/tonne (US$404).

Rapeseed prices had increased by 6% since hitting this year’s lowest point at the end of April due to the expected disappointing harvests in Europe.

However, UFOP was hoping that the price developments would make rapeseed more interesting in the oncoming sowing season.

“For reasons of crop rotation, there is no alternative to rapeseed as the most important leaf crop in most production regions,” said UFOP.