Supply in the EU-28 rapeseed market will be much scarcer in 2016/17 than a year earlier, reports Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) on 4 January.

“Although consumption is on the decline, the decrease in harvest volumes affects stocks and will increase the need for imports,” UFOP said.

According to the European Commission, the EU would experience a 2M tonne drop in its rapeseed harvest in to just under 20M tonnes in 2016.

Consumption in 2016/17 would probably decline by 6% to 23.4M tonnes but there was a shortage of 3.6M tonnes of rapeseed for the supply/demand balance to be level.

Imports from non-EU countries are expected to surge by 500,000 tonnes to 4M tonnes, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH.

Stocks, meanwhile, were project to fall to 1.03M tonnes, around 6% down from a year earlier. “The falloff is due to poor weather conditions at sowing and a wet early summer that curtailed yields,” UFOP said.

“EU production of rapeseed for the 2017 harvest is unlikely to rise. Dry weather, especially in France, delayed sowings and plant growth. Farmers had to plough up more land than normal.”

In the UK, farmers had reduced the rapeseed area for the 2017 harvest because they had lost a great deal of their rapeseed crops to cabbage stem flea beetles and pollen beetles since the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in 2013.