Weather factors impacting on oilseed rape and soya markets

According to the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) in the UK, the prospects of record-breaking oilseed rape and soya bean crops this year have been threatened by recent weather events, particularly in the US and South America.

However, with output forecasts continuing to increase, the bearish sentiments currently appear to be outweighing the bullish threats.

This year’s harvest of US soya beans has been blighted by delays caused by wet weather with weekly progress reports highlighting behind average progress during most of the harvest period. However, improved weather conditions have allowed the pace to pick up again in recent weeks, with 94% of the crop harvested as of last week.

Weather events in South America have been the main focus for soya bean development this year. An unusually dry October in the centre-west of Brazil, and wetter than normal conditions in the South led to delays with planting progress across the country.

Meanwhile, EU oilseed rape production is estimated to reach a record level of 24Mt this year, up 2.9Mt year on year. For much of the European rapeseed harvest this year, progress and conditions benefitted from wet weather throughout most of July.

Although a lower area was planted to rapeseed in the UK for harvest 2014 compared with the previous year, average yields were up by 23% annually at 3.7t/ha, resulting in 2.5Mt of rapeseed output. Winter oilseed rape quality was determined as acceptable by ADAS, with average oil levels of 42-48%, in comparison to 42-46% last year. Results from the HGCA Early Bird Survey suggest that the area planted to oilseed rape will reduce by only 4% in 2015, signifying that it is likely to remain as the key break crop in rotations.

The Black Sea region has also fared well as a result of favourable weather conditions for both rapeseed and soyabeans this season.

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