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Bulgarian rapeseed production is forecast to rebound in MY 2021/22

11.08.2021 15:45 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S.Department of Agriculture attache in The Sofia, Bulgarian rapeseed production is forecast to rebound in MY 2021/22. As of mid-July, the rapeseed harvest was 46percent complete with reported yields exceeding earlier estimates and production projected to reach up to 360,000MT.

Executive Summary:

FAS Sofia expects Bulgarian rapeseed production to rebound in marketing year (MY) 2021/22. As of mid-July, the rapeseed harvest was 46percent complete with reported yields exceeding earlier estimates and production projected to reach up to 360,000metric tons (MT). Rain and cooler temperatures in the spring were favorable for early sunflower crop development. However, these conditions prevented an increase in area planted. Scorching summer temperatures to date are likely to reduce the yield potential, although yields are still projected to recover from MY 2020/21. Post maintains its previous production projection at 2.0MMT.

MY 2020/21exports of rapeseed and sunflower seeds are currently lagging behind the previous season due to the shorter crop and growing domestic crush demand. Both rapeseed and sunflower exports are estimated lower to about 200,000MT and 800,000MT, respectively.

Weather Overview

The development of oilseed crops is progressing well in the north of Bulgaria, but a soil moisture deficit is affecting crops in central-southern parts of the country. Overall typical seasonal temperatures experienced in early June were interrupted by a heatwave in the last ten days of June, followed by several heatwaves in July. Maximum temperatures during these periods were up to 38–39C (100–102F). A rainfall deficit was recorded in western and southern Bulgaria. Soil moisture levels are at adequate levels in the north, while a deficit is negatively affecting the crops in parts of southern Bulgaria, due to the lack of substantial rainfall in July. Soil moisture reserves which were at high levels as of mid-June began to quickly decline to levels comparable to a year ago by the end of July. While the weather was good for the rapeseed harvest, hot and dry conditions in July, which is the period of critical yield formation for

sunflowers, may have a negative impact on the crop.

MY 2021/22Forecast

Rapeseed: Despite late planting in the fall of 2020, attractive prices encouraged farmers to increase area planted above earlier expectations to 133,000hectares (HA), 12percent above MY 2020/21. Mild winter weather conditions, along with a cool and rainy spring supported favorable

crop development, but delayed harvest by about two weeks. According to the Ministry of Agricultures weekly harvest reports, 46percent of the rapeseed harvest was complete as of July 15. Average yields to date were recorded at 2.74MT/HA, 22percent more than a year ago. Private yield estimates are as

high as 3.0MT/HA, with the European Commissions current projection at 2.95MT/HA. Post expects average yields at 2.8MT/HA, higher than previously projected, and for production to reach 360,000MT.

Early season farm-gate prices are significantly higher than in MY 2020/21. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the average farm-gate price for July is at 937.50Bleva/MT ($551/MT) compared to 697.00Bleva/MT ($410/MT) in July 2020. This is expected to drive up rapeseed exports.

Sunflower: Due to a rainy spring, access and work in the fields were challenging and farmers could not plant the targeted sunflower area. As a result, FAS Sofia lowers its projection to838,000HA. Spring rains were very favorable for sunflower development. However, summer heat waves with scorching

temperatures are already affecting yield potential. The European Commissions current projection for the average yield is 2.46MT/HA. Production estimates vary from 1.9MMT to 2.1MMT. Post forecasts production at 2.0MMT, with average yields of 2.4MT/HA.

As of July 2021, farm-gate sunflower prices continued to exceed last years levels. The Ministry of Agriculture reported prices in July at 1,023Bleva/MT ($602/MT), 56percent higher than a year ago.

MY 2021/22exports are forecast to rebound due to improved crop prospects.

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