Europe rapeseed crop forecast lifts ahead of winter biodiesel blending

12 September 2012 16:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--September forecasts for the 2012/2013 European rapeseed crop have increased by 300,000 tonnes from last month to 18.8m tonnes, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday. 

Rapeseed, the raw feedstock of the biodiesel grade rapeseed methyl ester (RME), has been completely harvested in Europe and most of the UK, with the product now entering mills to be converted into oil.

Prices for rapeseed oil on a ex-mill basis are €1,000/tonne ($1,282/tonne) FOB (free-on-board) NWE (northwest Europe) November 2012 for January 2013 delivery, down from €1,024/tonne FOB NWE last week.

Production of winter grades of biodiesel, including RME will commence from 15 September, to meet the cold filter plugging point (CFPP) required for Europe’s winter temperatures.

A European biodiesel trader said premiums for Renewable Energy Directive (RED) certified RME were around $370-390/tonne FOB NWE, compared with $385-395/tonne on Thursday 6 September. However, the source said the USDA report did not greatly affect Wednesday’s market.

Despite the more optimistic outlook for European rapeseed crops, the biodiesel market may react in the coming days to USDA figures forecasting a reduction in the US soybean crop, which is down 1.4m tonnes from last month to 82m tonnes.

While the USDA forecast an increase in the rapeseed crop, the EU still needs to import rapeseed to fill its requirements for food and fuel, with the additional product coming from Australia and Canada.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES) released its crop report on 11 September, forecasting the country will export 2.2m tonnes of canola (rapeseed) in 2012/2013, slightly down from 2.3m tonnes in 2011/2012 but still well above exports in the prior three marketing years.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Kate Wilcock
+44 208 652 3214

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