Rapeseeds: Chile Makes Long-Haul Exports


Mar 20, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

The area planted with Rapeseed in Chile has shown a systematic increase since 2000, with an average increase of 3,500 hectares per year, reaching more than 53,000 hectares. Winter Rapeseed practically dominates national production, with over 95% of hybrids coming from Western Europe. The incorporation of this crop has had beneficial impacts both for crop rotation, mainly for the following wheat, and for the development of the Oil and salmon industries. For all this, Rapeseed cultivation has gained an essential place within Chilean agriculture.

The first cultivation started at the end of the 50s and lasted until 1986. Varieties such as Matador and Norin 16 reigned, and high levels of erucic acid in its Oil and glucosinolates in its bran predominated. In the second stage, started in 1987, cultivars low in erucic acid but high in glucosinolates are introduced. But in 1992, the step that marks the turning point in the cultivation of Rapeseed in Chile began, since in the third stage, Canola-type cultivars were introduced, those with less than 2% erucic acid in their Oil and less than 30 micromoles of glucosinolates per gram in their bran. In 1995, 100 percent of the area planted in the country was with the Canola varieties (“Canadian Oil Low Acid”), which also brought a better yield.

Today, once again, the intense yellow of Canola Rapeseeds shines brightly in the fields of the south of the country. In geographical terms, Canola raps are grown from Chillán to Osorno, even a little further south, in Tegualda, near Puerto Varas. Inter varieties are planted at the end of March and April, while the spring ones are planted in August and until mid-September. Winter varieties include Rohan, Sheriff, Thorin, Excalibur, Clifton, Vision, Nelson, etc. The spring varieties, meanwhile, are Victory, Solero, and Gladiador.

In the country, it is cultivated as raw material for plants that produce feed for salmon and marginally for the Oil industry oriented to human consumption. Currently, Chile has a population of 18.4 million. In 2018, the Rapeseed Oil consumption in Chile amounted to 220 thousand metric tons, up from 200 thousand metric tons consumed a year earlier. The Soybean Oil is destined for three markets: the salmon industry (50%), local human consumption (20%), and export (30%).

During crop year 2018/19, Chile produced more than 185 thousand metric tons of Rapeseed, down from nearly 220 thousand tons recorded during the previous crop year. In 2018, the Oilseed rape harvested area in Chile amounted to 59 thousand hectares, up from 19 thousand hectares harvested in 2010. It is estimated that the region of La Araucanía will account for between 28 and 30 thousand hectares, only between Malleco and Cautín, due to the type of soil and cold climate this area has.

Trading Rapeseed in Chile

In 2020, Chile imported Oil Seed flowers worth $2.9 million, becoming the world’s 47th largest importer of Oil Seed flowers. During that period, Oil Seed Flower was Chile’s 755th most imported product. Chile imports Oil Seed flowers primarily from: Bolivia ($1.39 million), Argentina ($957k), the United States ($195k), China ($195k), and the Netherlands ($143k).

The same year, Chile exported Rapeseed worth $17 million, making it the 28th largest exporter worldwide. Rapeseed was the 160th most shipped product in Chile. The leading destination of Rapeseed exports from Chile is Canada ($12.7 million), the United States ($3.02 million), France ($509k), Australia ($370k), and Russia ($230k).

In terms of import, Chile purchased Rapeseed worth $12.3 million, becoming the 38th largest importer of Rapeseed in the world. In the same year, Rapeseed was Chile’s 475th most imported product. Chile imports Rapeseed primarily from: Canada ($11.3 million), Germany ($734k), New Zealand ($129k), France ($75.6k), and the United States ($44.7k).

Other sources: RED AGRICOLA

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