In Germany, UFOP reports that for the second time in two years, the EU oilseed crop is set to be smaller than the previous year and that weather conditions have led to a reduced 2019 EU rapeseed harvest, bringing production down to a 13-year low. The EU Commission estimates 2019 output at 31.7 million tonnes. This would not only be down 4 per cent from the year-ago level, but also 5 per cent below the long-standing average.
At the same time, the sunflower crop is expected to hit a record.
The decline in rapeseed is especially severe. The reasons are a drought-related 15 per cent reduction in EU rapeseed area and poor yields that are provisionally estimated at 3 tonnes per hectare. This yields a rapeseed harvest of just less than 18 million tonnes, which would be down 10 per cent from 2018 and just over 3 million tonnes from the average in recent years. The German rapeseed harvest is seen at a disappointing level of just less than 3 million tonnes. At 17 per cent, it accounts for the lowest share in EU rapeseed output in the past 25 years. At the same time, EU soybean production is projected to remain stable at 2.9 million tonnes, because low yields will likely offset the expansion in soybean area.
By contrast, the EU Commission expects a larger EU sunflower harvest. In addition to the 6 per cent rise in area, yields could also see a slight increase compared to the previous year with the result that sunflowerseed output could increase to a new record of an estimated 10.7 million tonnes.