China’s Cold Weather Didn’t Hurt Rapeseed Crop

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Frigid temperatures in most of China’s rapeseed growing areas would not likely cause any damage to the crop, analysts said Jan. 12, but they said farmers planted less of the crop late last year than a year earlier.

The agricultural ministry sent experts to major growing areas in eastern and central provinces to guide farmers in production recovery after the previous week’s big snowfalls and cold spell, the ministry said on its website.

The ministry estimated last month that the country’s rapeseed areas could increase by two per cent to 6.87 million hectares. Rapeseed will be harvested in April and May.

It did not say whether the cold weather caused any damage, but industry analysts said temperatures picked up quickly after the previous week’s sharp temperature drop.

“There was no freeze damage. It was warming up quickly,” said Zhao Zhou, an analyst with Changjiang Futures Co. Ltd in Hubei, China’s major growing area.

But Zhao said farmers in Hubei grew less rapeseed because some have shifted to wheat instead, which can generate better returns.

“We also expected a slight fall in planting areas this year (from last year). More farmers are growing wheat,” said one analyst with the official China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC). The centre will publish its estimate in March.



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