Prices for rapeseed and sunflower seed in the European Union are expected to fall in 2022/23 from high levels this season, curbed by bigger projected harvests and continuing imports from war-torn Ukraine, consultancy Strategie Grains said.

Rapeseed futures on Euronext hit an all-time record this year as Russia's invasion of Ukraine worsened supply tensions in global oilseed and vegetable oil markets.

For rapeseed, the average price in Hamburg could reach about $665 a tonne in 2022/23, which would be down $160, or a drop of nearly 20%, compared to 2021/22, Strategie Grains said in a monthly report.

It raised its forecast for this year's EU rapeseed harvest to 18.3 million tonnes, from 18.2 million a month ago and now nearly 8% above last year's crop.

The upward revision reflected good yield prospects in the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, as well as increased area estimates for Sweden and France, it said in an oilseed report.

The consultancy trimmed its projection of EU rapeseed stocks at the end of 2022/23 due to a lack of competitiveness for Canadian imports and high expected rapeseseed crushing as margins remain attractive.

But EU rapeseed stocks would still be less tight than in the current season, while rapeseed oil supplies would be balanced given slowing demand for biodiesel, it said.

For sunflower seed, Strategie Grains forecast that average French prices in 2022/23 would be down 12% year on year at about 600 euros a tonne.

It kept its forecast for the 2022 EU sunflower seed crop at 10.9 million tonnes, 5% above the 2021 level and a new record.

The stable harvest forecast reflected an increase in estimated area that was offset by a cut to the expected yield, notably in Spain following dryness, it said.

EU supplies have already been bolstered by imports of competitively priced sunflower seed from Ukraine in the latter part of the 2021/22 season, Strategie Grains added.

Ukraine's overall crop exports have dropped sharply due to the closure of its sea ports, but EU trade data has shown significant volumes of Ukrainian sunflower seed and oil have continued to reach the bloc.


(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Edmund Blair)