Greece: More Interest in Sunflowers Than Rapeseeds


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The cultivation of Oilseed Rape in Greece, which commenced on an experimental basis in 2009, with around 1,000 hectares being sown, has steadily increased since then, with 12,000 hectares of land being used for this purpose in 2016, 20% more than in 2015. The last year was terrible for Rapeseed cultivations. The biggest problem is found mainly in Northern Greece, where cultivation in some areas lost up to 90% of its hectares, compared to 2021, while also in the Thessalian plain, the losses “written” by the Rapeseed reach close to 50%.
In the prefecture of Kozani, in Western Macedonia, for example, Dimitris Christidis, owner of one of the largest agricultural supply stores in the region, said that last year the acres sown locally in Rapeseed were minimal. “To understand the size, while in 2021 our shop served 10,000 acres, last year we did not even approach 2,000 acres, although the price in the contracts is at 47 cents per kilo, as a minimum guaranteed with the prospect of going up, as long as the trade goes “, he added.
He attributed the negative development for the crop on the one hand to the long-term drought, which essentially did not allow sowing, which takes place from mid-September to the end of October, and to the fact that last year the Rapeseed yields in the prefecture were low, in 70-80 kg per hectare for the majority of fields, which resulted in many farmers not preferring this year. Therefore, many areas locally are devoted to grain. At the same time, it seems that – at least in western Macedonia, as Mr. Christidis estimates – there will be significant interest in the sunflower in the spring.
A similar image for the cultivation performance of Oilseed Rape was recorded in regions of Central Macedonia, such as Halkidiki and Kilkis. “Due to the lack of rain, Rape lost a large part of its pie this year,” explains Yannis Pyrros, who is active in the trade of agricultural supplies and products in the two prefectures. He explained: “While our store usually cooperates with producers who cultivate around 3,000 to 5,000 hectares depending on the year, last year only one farmer managed to sow only 400 hectares”.
A little better, but still significantly below a typical year, is the picture with Rapeseed cultivation in Thessaly. According to what was reported in Agrenda, the weather played a lousy game on producers, who could not sow the areas they planned. For example, according to the relevant information, the reduction of Rapeseed areas was 50% in the region of Larissa.
“The sowing must complete by the 20th of October, but the lack of rains did not allow it in 2022, and the growers avoided taking the risk of planting now because they feared that it would not have grown enough to survive the cold of winter.” Other grains were chosen instead of canola. It should be noted that in the EU, in the period 2022-2023, there was a significant increase of 14.6% in the areas with Oilseed crops, with a decrease in yields due to drought, with the exception of Rape which shows a slight increase of 1.8%.

Greece Oilseed Trade

In 2020, Greece exported Oilseed flowers worth $18.8M, making it the 9th largest exporter of Oil Seed flowers globally. During the period, Oilseed Flower was Greece’s 233rd most exported product. The leading destination of Oilseed Flower exports from Greece was the United Kingdom ($10.4M), Poland ($2.75M), Germany ($1.13M), Bulgaria ($1.06M), and Czechia ($375k).
The same year, Greece imported Oilseed flowers worth $1.73M, becoming the world’s 60th largest importer of Oilseed flowers. Greece imports Oilseed flowers primarily from: Serbia ($588k), Italy ($477k), Bulgaria ($326k), France ($118k), and the United Kingdom ($40k).

Other sources: AGRO NEWS

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