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Blue poppy seeds: start of harvest delayed

June 9, 2020 1:41 PM, Der AUDITOR
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CHRUDIM. June has brought sufficient rainfall to Czech poppy seed farmers so far, but the rather cool temperatures are delaying the development of the plants.

Is another weather extreme ahead?

The lack of sunshine is currently causing the poppy plants to develop more slowly than usual, which is why market players expect a slightly delayed start to the harvest in the second half of July. Overall, the crop was able to benefit from the rainfall in May and June, which is why at least an average yield per hectare is expected. Based on the reports of a total of 40,000 ha under cultivation nationwide, poppy seed production should therefore be able to exceed 30,000 mt in 2020.

Nevertheless, farmers and traders are standing in opposition to each other. The prices on the spot market cannot be shaken and only vary by a few cents. For the new crop, no offers will be made before July in order not to set prices too low in case of unforeseen difficulties. Excessive rainfall can be just as damaging to the crop as drought.

Blue poppy seeds

Type

Price

Czech Republic, <10 ppm morphine, DDP DE

EUR 2.76/kg

Turkey, <20 ppm morphine, CFR Hamburg

3.35 USD/kg

Trade sources

More exports than last year

Market players have recently been complaining increasingly about the lack of contract release orders from Russian buyers. However, it should be noted that the exit ban in Moscow, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Russia, is only now being gradually eased. Up to and including April, poppy seed exports from the Czech Republic to Russia were still going extremely well. In total, 86% more poppy seeds have been delivered to Russia since the start of the season and, at 618 metric tonnes in April 2020, exports were around 320% higher than in the same month last year. May export data will not be published for about four weeks.

Poppy seed exports, Czech Republic, in mt

Destination

2018/19

2019/20

Diff.

Russia

2,676

4,977

86.0%

Austria

3,270

3,980

21.7%

Poland

1,614

1,759

9.0%

Slovakia

1,296

1,467

13.2%

Germany

1,118

1,361

21.7%

Hungary

330

745

125.9%

Netherlands

574

653

13.8%

India

0

413

515,712.5%

Romania

299

302

1.1%

Ukraine

601

266

-55.8%

Others

1,201

708

-41.0%

Total

12,977

16,630

28.1%

Czech Statistical Office / Aug-Apr

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