Germany is expected to sharply increase imports of soyabeans and soya meal, with the USA set to become the top source of soyabeans due to supply and competitive prices,” according to a recent Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture.

The German Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) recent preliminary estimate for the country’s 2018 grain and winter rapeseed crops forecast a fall in rapeseed production to 3.6M tonnes compared to 4.3M tonnes last year, which would make it the smallest rapeseed crop in 15 years, World Grain reported.

Grain production (excluding corn) would fall to 34.5M tonnes, compared to 41M tonnes a year ago, while corn would experience a 50% fall in production, the lowest output since 1994, mainly as a result of drought in the northern and eastern regions of the country.

The USDA said use of domestic grains and rapeseed meal in feed ratios was set to decrease in Germany for the remainder of 2018 and for at least half of 2019.

“This is partly because of higher compound feed use,” the USDA said.

According to the 24 September GAIN report, soyabean meal and sunflower meal, as well as grains from EU and non-European countries would replace domestic feed. This was expected to boost soyabean and soya meal imports and soyabean crush.

The drought was recently declared “a weather incident of national extent,” allowing the German government to grant financial support to over 10,000 farms in Germany, World Grain said.