Ukrainian market of rapeseed – profits and prospects




From year to year, the situation on the Ukrainian market of rapeseed still depends on the share of lost winter crops. The season-2017/18 demonstrated good overwintering results. Therefore, rather high yield of the oilseed, and increasing of the planted areas under rapeseed increased the production volumes by 85%.

According to estimations of APK-Inform analysts, in the season-2017/18 Ukraine produced a record harvest of rapeseed – 2.2 mln tonnes, against 1.19 mln tonnes in 2016/17 MY. Also, the growth of rapeseed yield contributed to significant increasing of production volumes – 2.75 t/ha (up 9% compared with last season), due to favourable weather conditions during the planting campaign and overwintering period, as well as increasing of the planted and harvested areas to 945.8 thsd ha (up 36%) and 800 thsd ha (up 70%), respectively.



In Ukraine, rapeseed still keeps the major export position among the major oilseed crops. Despite the growth of rapeseed production on the global market, in the current season the demand for Ukrainian rapeseed was estimated as rather high. During 4 recent seasons, Ukraine managed to export the maximum volumes of the oilseed in the first half of 2017/18 MY – 2.04 mln tonnes (July-January). In particular, in September 2017 there was the export peak, when Ukraine shipped record volumes of 700.8 thsd tonnes of rapeseed (358 thsd tonnes in the same months last season).

In the current season, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Pakistan and France were the main countries which showed interest in purchasing of the Ukrainian oilseed, and imported nearly 87% of the general supplies. It should be noted that the first TOP-3 of countries-importers of Ukrainian rapeseed did not occupy the leading positions in the first half of last season.

At the beginning of February 2018, Ukraine already exported the major volumes of rapeseed. APK-Inform analysts forecasted the general export volumes of the oilseed in 2017/18 MY at the level of 2.06 mln tonnes, up 99% compared with the export volumes in 2016/17 MY. In July-December of the current season, companies-exporters shipped 1.99 mln tonnes of rapeseed (886 thsd tonnes in the same period of the season-2016/17).

The current MY started with rather significant growth of prices for rapeseed compared with the last year figures (up 1500-1700 UAH/t). Since the beginning of the season the oilseed prices on the domestic and export markets mainly increased, but in the beginning of October the price trend changed, and the relatively stable price situation started dominating, because Ukraine already exported and processed the major volumes of rapeseed.

To date, the prices are mostly declarative, due to the very low trading and purchasing activity.



TOP-10 of companies-exporters of rapeseed from Ukraine in July-December of 2017/18 MY



Volume, `000 tonnes



ADM Ukraine
















Mironivsky Hliboproduct (MHP)








COFCO Agri Trade












Agro LV












Postponed VAT non-refund

On December 7, 2017 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted for a draft law of Ukraine "On amendments to the Tax Code and some legislative acts to ensure the balance of budget revenues in 2018". The reporting decision of the Verkhovna Rada was unacceptable to agrarians and traders, but it was beneficial for oilseed processors, because rapeseed by-products will become more competitive on the global market in the price range, after a possible reduction of prices for oilseed raw materials.

After numerous demands of the whole agricultural sector on imposition of amendments to the law, the Verkhovna Rada delayed introduction of the articles which provide cancellation of VAT refund during rapeseed exports until January 1, 2020.

On the one hand, experts considered that after the law enters into force, rapeseed in Ukraine may become unprofitable crop, which is not profitable to produce and export. Because the cost of rapeseed will reduce by the share of VAT, while for agrarians the price will reduce in more significant way, which will significantly reduce the interest in rapeseed growing. At the same time, oilseed processors will receive the same market conditions compared with exporters, and will be able to increase production and exports of rapeseed by-products.

On the other hand, in November 2017 the European Parliament decided to exclude biofuels produced on the basis of Malaysian palm oil from the list of the Renewable Energy Directive in the EU. This decision is not yet made officially public, but in case of the final adoption Ukraine is able to increase the supplying of rapeseed to the EU for biodiesel production.


Rapeseed processing: to be, or not to be?

According to APK-Inform figures, for the second season in a row the processing volumes of rapeseed on the Ukrainian market continued reducing, taking into account its low-level marginality, due to high purchasing prices for oilseed raw materials and low prices on the export market of rapeseed oil.

The major companies, which started processing new crop rapeseed in the current season:

- Oliyar (Lviv oblast);

- ViOil (Vinnytsia oblast);

- Gradoliya (Kirovohrad oblast);

- ADM (Odessa oblast);

- Nizhynsky fat-and-oil complex (Chernihiv oblast);

- Zapad-AgroInvest (Ternopil oblast).

Yasensvit and Krasnohirsky oil plant (Cherkasy oblast), and Agrarian company 2004 (Khmelnytskyi oblast) started processing small-scale volumes of the oilseed.

So, in the first half of the season-2017/18 Ukrainian enterprises processed nearly 127 thsd tonnes of rapeseed, while in the same period last season – more than 140 thsd tonnes.

The forecast of rapeseed processing in the whole season totals 138 thsd tonnes (down 13% compared with the season-2016/17). Therefore, APK-Inform analysts reduced the forecasts of rapeseed meal/cake production to 74.5 thsd tonnes (down 14%) and rapeseed oil – to 60.6 thsd tonnes (down 12%).

Also, APK-Inform reduced its estimations on the exports of these products. Thus, the forecast of rapeseed meal/cake exports totals 77 thsd tonnes (down 4%), and rapeseed oil – 60.5 thsd tonnes (down 13%).

The EU, the Middle East and Southeast Asia were the main regions-importers of rapeseed by-products from Ukraine.





As for the price tendencies on the Ukrainian export market of rapeseed oil, since mid-July 2017 there was observed a bullish trend, due to the increased cost of oilseed raw materials. Since September, the bid prices did not significantly changed due to the fact that Ukraine already shipped and sold the major volumes. At the same time, in December-January EUR/USD exchange rates started strengthening, and bid prices for rapeseed oil in Ukraine lowered to 780 USD/t FCA (at the end of January 2018).



Despite the downward trend in the sector of rapeseed by-products, the export orientation of raw materials, high demand of the global market and good profitability of the oilseed cultivation will continue stimulating Ukrainian agrarians for production of rapeseed.

As for the prospects for a new season, we should note that the general condition of winter crops after the winter period is the key factor in determining the production volumes of rapeseed per season. In addition, the price situation under influence of the above mentioned trends will also have its important impact on the efficiency of the oilseed production in Ukraine.


Viktoria Zelenaya, oilseed expert at APK-Inform Agency