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  • UFOP

German rapeseed meal exports in steep decline

German rapeseed meal exports fell 22 percent short of the previous year’s record volume. Main buyers, such as the Netherlands, Spain and France, imported considerably less, whereas Denmark, Finland and Switzerland ordered more.

According to information published by the German Federal Statistical Office, Germany exported a total of just over 1.5 million metric tons of rapeseed meal from July 2021 to May 2022. This was down 22 percent on the same period a year earlier. It was also the smallest volume in three years.

On the one hand, the decline was due to lower availability. Production at German oil mills dropped 5.5 percent to 4.8 million tons in the above-mentioned period, which limited the country’s export potential.

On the other hand, the comparatively strong market prices curbed buying interest from abroad. From October 2021 to May 2022, protein in rapeseed meal was higher priced than, or at the same level as, protein in GMO-free soybean meal.

In countries where GMO-free feedstuff is not a major concern, buyers therefore went for soybean meal rather than the alternative.

Most German rapeseed meal was delivered to the EU member states (around 1.45 of the 1.55 million tons).

The largest share, 660,000 tons, went to the Netherlands. This means that the volume decreased almost one-third compared to the same period a year earlier.

Rapeseed meal deliveries to France slumped almost two-thirds and exports to Spain plummeted 56 percent. Due to larger domestic rapeseed harvests, both countries had less demand for rapeseed meal deliveries from abroad.

By contrast, according to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), supplies to Denmark, Finland and Austria saw significant increases.

Denmark, the second-largest trading partner in the rapeseed-meal business, nearly doubled its imports from Germany to 193,000 tons.

Switzerland was once more the most important recipient outside the European community, boosting its imports as much as 82 percent to 70,000 tons.

The Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) has stated that the fact that German oil mills have a processing capacity of approximately 9 million tons of rapeseed means that Germany is the EU-27’s most important processor and supplier of GM-free rapeseed meal.

The association has pointed out that supply of this domestic feedstuff, which is firmly established in dairy-cow feeding, is at risk if the federal ministry for the environment implements plans to sharply lower the upper limit for biofuels from cultivated biomass and/or ban their being credited toward climate-change commitments in the future.

The UFOP has emphasized that only in combination with rapeseed processing to make biodiesel will supply of domestic feed protein be secured in the future.

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