“Favourable” conditions have encouraged a jump in Romanian winter crop sowings for the 2023 harvest, and a recovery in UK rapeseed area to a four-year high, the owner of the Agrii agronomy chain said.

Romanian plantings of its winter crops, which comprise largely barley, rapeseed and wheat, have risen by 14.2% year on year to 3.6m hectares, Origin Enterprises said.

“Favourable conditions allowed for an increased area of winter plantings,” the group said, adding that adding that crops had “largely emerged in good condition”.

The comments are more upbeat than those of the European Commission’s Mars agrimeteorology bureau, which on Monday said that in eastern Romania sowing was “delayed and low precipitation since September has led to poor emergence and underdeveloped stands”.

Mars said that for rapeseed “dry conditions of topsoils negatively affected crop development”, while for winter grains, “topsoils and subsoils remain dry, negatively affecting crop establishment” in “many” areas.

Four-year high

For the UK, Origin Enterprises reported sowings of the country’s winter wheat crop for 2023 at 1.8m hectares, “broadly unchanged” year on year, and a figure in line with a figure revealed last week from the AHDB bureau.

Rapeseed plantings were reported up by 11.1% to some 400,000 hectares, building on the recovery kicked off last year following a slump in seedings fuelled by a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, one of the few effective controls against attacks by cabbage stem flea beetles.

Rapeseed sowings of 400,000 hectares would represent a four-year high, although still come in well below the record area of 715,717 hectares set in 2012.

The trend of rising rapeseed plantings echoes that of the neighbouring European Union, as reported by Strategie Grains earlier this month.

Winter vs spring

Origin Enterprises’ figures suggest the potential for the UK to erode its net imports of rapeseed, which topped 900,000 tonnes in 2021-22 – a stark contrast to the net exports of nearly 700,000 tonnes nine seasons before, after the record harvest.

For Romania, historically the European Union’s second largest grains exporter, Agrii’s data imply the potential for the country to reap an improved soft wheat harvest, after a dip of 12.1% to 9.15m tonnes in output this year after drought shrank yields.

Romania’s soft wheat exports for the July-to-September period, the first three months of 2022-23, tumbled by 49% to 3.05m tonnes, according to European Commission data.

However, with Origin Enterprises also forecasting that overall Romanian sowings for 2023 will remain steady year on year, the data imply decreases in spring plantings.

That signals cuts to area allocated to sunflowers, of which it is the EU’s top producer, and of corn, of which it is the second largest grower, although seeing its output shrunk markedly this year by drought.

For the UK, the AHDB has suggested the potential for extra area of rapeseed, and winter barley, sowings to come at the expense of oats, and spring barley.

Revenues jump

The comments came as Origin Enterprises – which also reported flat sowings of winter crops in Poland, and a “significantly reduced” area in Ukraine, as already revealed by other commentators – unveiled a 58% jump to E716.2m in revenues for the August-to-September period, the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Revenues in the core agronomy and inputs operations rose by 63%, excluding one-time and currency effects, reflecting in part “strong early season crop input volume growth”, notably in the group’s Latin American unit as well as in the UK.

Growth was also spurred by price rises “across the group, in each of our seed, crop protection, feed and fertilizer portfolios”.

Shares in the Irish-based company closed up 5.9% at E3.86 in Dublin.