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PARIS: Consultancy Strategie Grains has lowered its forecast for the 2021 rapeseed harvest in the 27-nation European Union for the second month in a row and projected rapeseed supply in the bloc would remain tight next season.

In a monthly oilseed report, the French firm reduced its outlook for this year’s EU rapeseed harvest to 16.8 million tonnes from 17.05 million forecast last month.

In March, it had trimmed its forecast by 90,000 tonnes.

The latest 2021 production outlook would be 3.4% above an estimated 2020 crop of 16.25 million tonnes, the weakest level in over a decade.

A limited recovery in harvest output could keep EU supply low at a time when soaring prices for oilseeds and vegetable oils have encouraged processors to scoop up available stocks.

Rapeseed crops endured another drought-affected sowing campaign at the end of last summer, and have since been hit by insect attacks and adverse winter weather.

Strategie Grains projected EU rapeseed stocks at the end of the upcoming 2021/22 season at 1 million tonnes, close to the level expected at the close of the current 2020/21 season in June.

The anticipated increase in production and a forecast easing in demand would be offset by lower imports and the tight inventories at the start of the season, it said.

For this season, attractive margins for using rapeseed were continuing to boost demand and EU crushing of rapeseed was expected to be up 3.6% compared with 2019/20, it said.

However, the consultancy raised slightly its forecast for 2020/21 ending stocks due to upward revisions to imports and start of season inventories.

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