Report Highlights: 

Sunflower and rapeseed crops have responded well to the favorable climatic conditions in 2014. Rapeseed exports are poised to grow in MY 2014/15 by 85 percent due to the large supply, and remain steady in case of sunflower seeds.

Rapeseeds 

Mild winter, warm temperature and improved soil moisture have been the major factors playing in favor of good yields for the MY 2014/15 crop. Frequent rains and strong storms in June and beginning of July interrupted or delayed the harvesting process, with an effect on the quality. In terms of volume, production exceeded the initial estimates, being now estimated at 1.15 million MT, which is more than 50 percent compared to 2013. 

The high rapeseed availability is reflected into the large volume exported in the first month of the season (492,000 MT in July 2014 versus 187,000 MT in July 2013), which is about more than half of the quantity anticipated to be exported during the entire year. The EU member states with significant crushing capacities are in general the major rapeseed buyers (Belgium, Netherlands and in a limited extent France). 

In respect to MY 2015/16 rapeseed crop, reports from the major players in this field suggest a 20 percent expansion of the area. This year crop’ performance and the decision taken by the Romanian authorities to temporarily authorize the use of Neonicotinoides plant treatment for rapeseed may have played a role in farmers’ decision to increase plantings. The authorization does not cover 2015 corn and sunflower crops though, a separate derogation being needed in this regard. 

Sunflower seeds 

In 2014, the area sown with sunflower seeds slightly dropped as a result of the smaller area available for spring crops (rapeseed expanded) and the mild winter which did not trigger rapeseeds replanting. Excess rains in March and April prevented farmers to enter field during the proper timeframe for sowing in many areas, thus the development stages varied widely. Once emerged, improved soil moisture and moderate temperatures ensured a very good development of the plants. The harvested output is expected to be similar to last year record of 2.150 MMT, with the amount to be divided between domestic crush (about 900,000 MT) and export market (1.2 – 1.3 MMT) in MY 2014/15. 

In terms of export destinations during the first ten months of the MY 2013/14, France (203,000 MT), Pakistan (185,000 MT), Netherlands (129,972 MT), Hungary (109,000 MT) and Portugal (108,000 MT) accounted for about two thirds of sunflower seed exports