Oilseed Crops Seen at Risk From Dryness in Australia and Ukraine

Oilseed production in Australia and Ukraine, the world’s second- and third-biggest exporters of rapeseed, may be at risk amid dry weather, Oil World said.

Australia’s crop of canola, a rapeseed variety, may reach a three-year low of 3 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in an e-mailed report. Oil World kept its forecast for Ukraine’s oilseed output to rise to 13.4 million to 14.4 million tons from 12.8 million tons a year earlier, while warning that dry weather is depleting soil- moisture reserves for winter crops and early-sown spring plants.

In Australia, “dry conditions have resulted in delayed canola plantings, and rainfall is urgently required in several key canola growing regions, primarily in the southeast,” Oil World said. “These rains must arrive in the next two weeks.”

Australian canola planting may drop by 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) from a year earlier unless more rain comes, Oil World said. Rain was below average in April in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and southwest Western Australia as well as the nation’s center, the Bureau of Meteorology said May 2.

Australia’s harvest, which starts in November, reached a record 3.95 million tons in the 2012-13 season, Oil World said. Exports in the year ending Oct. 31 may be a record 3.1 million tons. Canada is the world’s biggest rapeseed shipper.

Ukraine, Russia

Ukraine may experience higher temperatures and “deficient rainfall” at least through this week, mainly in the southeast, Oil World said. As of May 7, farmers had finished seeding about 96 percent of the area intended for sunflowers and 71 percent of soybeans, as well as 87 percent of the area planned for spring grains, Oil World said, citing the government.

In Russia, oilseed production may be near a record set two years ago as planting exceeds last year’s pace, Oil World said. Conditions in southern regions may be warm and dry for at least this week, it said.

Russia’s weather outlook is “promoting spring fieldwork, however, creating concern about developing winter and earlier-planted spring crops as soil-moisture supplies are diminishing,” Oil World said. “This is not yet critical, but bears watching.”

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