An explosion at a UK-based ADM oilseed plant along with other factors contributed to a jump in Dutch rapeseed oil prices, AgriCensus reported on 19 June.

Three contractors suffered injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment following the incident, which took place at the crushing plant operated by the global agribusiness in Erith, London, on 19 June. Processing around 1M tonnes/year of rapeseed, the plant is one of the largest in the UK and the meal produced is used as a feed ingredient by livestock producers in the UK, France and Ireland.

AgriCensus said other factors which contributed to the rapeseed price jump included increased demand from the European biodiesel market and new orders for Argentine soya oil methyl ester (SME biodiesel) cargoes.

Rapeseed oil prices had been on a steady rise since early April as demand from the biodiesel sector picked up following the easing of lockdown measures in Europe to curb Covid-19.

The premium of rapeseed-oil methyl ester (RME biodiesel) over its feedstock – a key indicator for viability of EU biodiesel production – was quoted on 18 June at US$60/tonne, up from US$17/tonne earlier this month, AgriCensus reported.

“The rally is due to the fresh demand from the biodiesel sector, lower rapeseed meal prices and because the farmer is waiting to sell his rapeseed … also because of the bad margins for crushing,” a Dutch broker told the price reporting agency.

In another positive sign for the European biodiesel market, traders had placed orders for three 30,000-tonne cargoes of Argentine SME biodiesel on 20 June – the first bookings since the pandemic hit Europe in March.

Last year, Argentina was allowed to resume tariff-free exports into the EU of up to 1.2M tonnes/year from eight selected companies, following a review and decision by the European Commission in February 2019.