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Australia’s rapeseed harvest expected to decline more than 40% from last year

In its latest estimate of 2023-’24 rapeseed production, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences anticipates a sharp slump in output on the previous year to 4.9 million metric tons.

In the 2022-’23 season, the country saw a bumper crop of 8.2 million tons.

The latest estimate is based on sowing operations, which are nearing completion, and the current drought, which is set to end the series of three consecutive bumper crops.

An output of 4.9 million tons would translate to a 41 percent decline from the 2023 record.

According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH) (AMI), the main reason for the sharp decline is lower per-hectare yields due to the expected El Niño weather phenomenon, along with reductions in area planted.

Although in the key production regions early autumn rains replenished subsoil water supplies and ensured favorable growing conditions, the necessary autumn rain post sowing remained substandard in the northern production regions.

AMI has pointed out the special harvest situation in 2023.

The bumper crops overwhelmed storage capacities, which resulted in quality issues and storage losses.

Nevertheless, prospects of attractive returns offered enough incentive for producers to grow rapeseed, with the result that only marginal land in dry areas was taken out of production.

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