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EU rapeseed imports declined despite smaller harvest

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The EU-27 plus U.K. imported around 2.1 million metric tons of rapeseed in the first four months of the 2020-'21 season. This was a 24 percent decline compared to the same period last year, but approximately 34 percent more than in 2018-'19. The fluctuations are due to the rapeseed harvest volumes. In the crop year 2019-'20, rapeseed production in the EU-27 plus U.K. was just under 15 percent smaller than 2018-'19. Larger imports from third countries were required in 2019-'20 to cover European consumption requirements despite the small harvest.

According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), the situation is somewhat different in the current crop year. Although EU-27 plus U.K. rapeseed output in 2020 decreased slightly further on the year (down 1 percent), imports have previously been smaller than a year earlier. This could be linked to declining demand for rapeseed oil for biodiesel production.

Alongside generally smaller imports, there have been significant changes in trade flows. Most imports came from Ukraine this crop year, as they did the previous year, but imports dropped 33 percent. This trend is attributable to considerable harvest declines and smaller supply from Ukraine. The gap has partly been filled by imports from Canada. The country has supplied around 36 percent more so far this crop year than it did in 2019-'20.

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