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Germany to harvest bumper legume crop as global rapeseed production, ending stocks hit lows


Germany is set to bring in a bumper crop of legumes this year. The total area of land planted with feed peas and other legumes for the 2021 harvest was expanded 11 percent to 219,000 hectares. This was despite the fact that, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), there was less scope for producers to make decisions in the spring than there was in the previous year. The area for winter-planted crops for the 2021 harvest had been expanded to its old extent, because the weather was right at the time of planting. Nevertheless, farmers decided to plant more pulses, especially peas (up 18 percent) and sweet lupins (up 32 percent). The soybean area remained stable, whereas the field bean area declined 2 percent.

The conditions for plant growth and pod formation were good, but the rainy summer cut yields this year, especially in feed peas. As a result, the pea harvest was up only 1 percent on the previous year at 301,000 metric tons. Field beans were also affected by the poor weather, with 223,000 tons harvested, which is around 6 percent less than in 2020. Soybean production is seeing a sharp rise and expected to reach 104,000 tons. This would be an increase of 14 percent, although the area planted remained unchanged. Sweet lupins were left unperturbed by the wet summer. As they were mostly planted in drier sites, they experienced optimal conditions for the first time in years. Based on a 13 percent increase in yield, the harvest volume is estimated to reach 53,000 tons. This would translate to a 56 percent rise on the year.


Meanwhile, the USDA again lowered its forecast for global rapeseed supply in its latest outlook—to an unexpectedly large extent. According to the latest USDA forecast, world rapeseed production in the crop year 2021-’22 will presumably amount to 68.17 million tons. In other words, production was forecast down 1.8 million tons from the August estimate. This translates to a 4.12 million ton drop over the previous year and would be the lowest level in nine years. According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), the EU-27 remains the biggest rapeseed producer. Heat and extreme dryness in Canadian rapeseed producing regions are having a tremendous impact on Canada’s output.

Global consumption was also forecast down 0.76 million tons to 70.31 million. Reductions for China, Canada and the EU-27 were not offset by a higher consumption forecast for Japan.

The USDA put 2021-’22 global ending stocks of rapeseed at 3.65 million tons. This would not only be a 40 percent decline on the 2020-’21 marketing season’s ending stocks, but also the lowest level on record.

In the USDA outlook, exports were forecast down 0.55 million tons to 13.56 million tons from the previous month. Whereas Canada in particular will supply less due to the slump in production, the export outlook for the EU-27 was raised. Despite the declines, Canada is set to remain the main exporter with exports amounting to 5.8 million tons.

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