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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Oilseed Rape Area Declines Again, Prices Recover Slightly

The area planted in oilseed rape is expected to decline again this summer, says Monsanto, marking the fourth successive fall. Despite this, prices are higher than at harvest last year.

Over the next six weeks, experts forecast that there are 630,000 hectares of oilseed rape to be harvested, and the decline in fall planting is projected to be less than 5% - bringing the next sowing no lower than 600,000 hectares, according to Geoff Hall, commercial lead for seeds and traits for north-west Europe for Monsanto.

Monsanto has seen renewed interest in its Extrovert and Exalte oilseed rape varieties leading the group to expect to maintain its 40% share in the oilseed rape seed market.

Over the past two years, rapeseed prices have fallen by more than £100 per ton to £255 per ton – down from £400 per ton at the 2012 harvest, leading to a drop in area. Prices at the 2015 harvest could be boosted somewhat, however, due to a £20 to £25 per ton bonus payment for growers producing high quality, high-oleic, low-linoleic (Holl) varieties.

Mr. Hall predicts that Holl rapeseed should account for a market share of between 7% and 8%, or 45,000 tons, with Monsanto’s new V316OL variety in the lead. This would translate to a 250% increase in the area planted in Holl seeds this season.

Monsanto’s V316OL is expected to yield 4.5 tons per hectare, and according to Mr. Hull, is almost sold out for this summer.

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