Rapeseed harvest expected to remain well below previous year

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The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) anticipates a sharp slump in output on the previous year to 4.9 million tonnes in its latest estimate of 2023/24 rapeseed production.
In the 2022/23 season, the country saw a bumper crop of 8.2 million tonnes.
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 tonnes would translate to a 41% decline from the 2023 record.
According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, 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 sub-soil water supplies and ensured favourable growing conditions, the necessary autumn rain post sowing remained sub-standard in the northern production regions.
The 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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