SOFIA, BULGARIA – The Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture has increased the country’s 2017-18 rapeseed production forecast by nearly 6% from an estimate earlier this year, to 460,000 tonnes, due to higher yields, according to a Dec. 14 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report said average rapeseed yield in Bulgaria has risen to 2.84 tonnes per acre from the previous estimate, but that is still 3.7% lower than the average yield in 2016-17, when total rapeseed production was 509,000 tonnes.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 85% of the Bulgaria’s new-crop rapeseed was exported as of early December. As of Dec. 1, 392,000 tonnes had been exported, most of which (365,000 tonnes) was shipped to the European Union.

The report said rapeseed planted area for 2018-19 was forecast at 171,000 hectares, comparable with 2017-18 plantings.