China’s summer rapeseed harvest to exceed 6.67 million hectares: ministry
Published: Jun 06, 2022 02:32 PM Updated: Jun 06, 2022 02:24 PM
A staff member checks edible oil stock at the distribution center of a supermarket in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua
A staff member checks edible oil stock at the distribution center of a supermarket in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

The summer rapeseed harvest is at full throttle across China as the nation pledges to increase financial and technical support in a bid to ensure food security.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, by the end of May, more than 90 percent of the country's summer rapeseed harvest had been completed. The area of rapeseed harvested in summer this year is expected to exceed 100 million mu (6.67 million hectares), the first time since 2015, laying a solid foundation for improving annual edible oil production and the country’s self-sufficiency rate.

Rapeseed is the largest source of edible vegetable oil in China and the Yangtze River drainage basin, a key growing area, has seen improved harvest this year.

In Jiangling county, central China’s Hubei Province the summer harvest rapeseed area increased by 10 percent compared with last year’s levels. In Zhangshan town, East China’s Jiangxi Province, local farmers have been using idle farmland to plant more than 12,400 mu rapeseed which has not only improved the land utilization rate but also promoted rural tourism, and added the household income of local farmers.

China's State-owned food and oil giant COFCO Corporation said it expected improved rapeseed processing turnover due to higher output and enthusiasm amoung farmers this year. The firm’s crushers, located in Yangtze River drainage basin are able to process 2.1 million tons in the main rapeseed producing areas located in the region.

COFCO Xiangrui Grain and Oil Industry (Jingmen) Co in Hubei Province has purchased more than 28,000 tons of rapeseed making it the largest industry player in China. The company purchased an average of 1,800 tons of seed from farmers, paying an average of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) to farmers.
"The planting area for rapeseed in Hubei has significantly increased compared with last year, and farmers are enthusiastic due to the industrial support policies provided by the local government," an employee from COFCO said.

Meanwhile, rapeseed prices are also much higher than last year, driving the profitability of oil processing companies.

“Oil processing enterprises are more actively involved in the rapeseed market with higher acquisition volume. As the rapeseed prices are at historically high levels, and farmers are highly motivated to sell rapeseed, making it faster for rapeseed to be processed into rapeseed oil,” the employee said.

Since the beginning of the year, officials have pledged to expand national soybean and oil production capacity, while increasing incentives, including increasing the overall planting area, improving the quality of plowing, and allocating three billion yuan special funds to support rapeseed planting.

In the first four months of the year, China imported 379 million tons of edible vegetable oil, down 65.6 percent from the same period last year.

Global Times