Germany exports less rapeseed oil as domestic demand from biodiesel processors grows
Shipments of German rapeseed oil declined in the 2021-’22 marketing year, following three consecutive years of considerable growth. Exports were not so much to third countries, but more to EU neighbor countries.
At nearly 1.1 million metric tons, Germany exported just about 22 percent less rapeseed oil in 2021-’22 than in the previous season. Nevertheless, exports exceeded the volume of the 2019-’20 marketing year by 13 percent.
The Netherlands, which acts as a central hub for world trade in agricultural commodities, remained by far the largest recipient country of German rapeseed oil in 2021-’22. The country took 600,000 tons, which was 150,000 tons fewer, however, than the previous season.
Belgium ranked second, taking 86,500 tons, around 17 percent less than 2020-’21.
It was followed by France, Denmark and Poland as major destinations. These countries received significantly more rapeseed oil than a year earlier.
France purchased around 65,000 tons (up 18 percent), remaining an important market.
Denmark received around 64,600 tons (up 12 percent).
Shipments to Poland showed the biggest increase. Reaching 58,000 tons, they nearly doubled over the previous year’s volume.
Switzerland, Austria, Lithuania, Greece and the Czech Republic also received considerably more than in 2020-’21, whereas deliveries to Italy, Portugal and Ireland declined.
The Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP) has ascribed the decrease in rapeseed-oil exports to the growth in demand for domestic biodiesel processing. The association expects that this development will continue in the 2022-’23 marketing year, because palm oil-based biofuels can no longer be counted towards GHG-quota obligations from 2023 onwards.
German and European farming of rapeseed is gaining more and more importance for supplying the German and European biofuels industry for biodiesel or hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) production. For this reason, the UFOP expects the rapeseed area in the EU-27 to stabilize at the current level of approximately 5.8 million hectares.
Due to the winter months ahead, rapeseed oil-based biodiesel is increasingly used in the northern EU countries. This genetic edge provided by the fatty-acid composition of rapeseed oil ensures a sales potential that could only be avoided during this period using HVO, which is more expensive than rapeseed methyl ester (RME).
Referring to the shaky supply situation for 2023 due to the war and as a consequence of the challenges caused by climate change, the UFOP has recommended that farmers boost sunflower-seed production by concluding appropriate forward contracts for 2023 sowings. The UFOP has pointed out that, along with rapeseed potential, there is additional land and feedstock potential that can be exploited to improve biodiversity and expand regional crop rotations.