Rapeseed oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from rape seeds.
Features of rapeseed oil imports to EU countries
Unrefined rapeseed oil is used for industrial purposes. This product is not suitable for food purposes, which makes it prohibited for food use in the EU and in some other countries.
Refined rapeseed oil is now very popular because of its beneficial features. Fatty acids are perfectly distributed in refined oil and in cold-pressed rapeseed oil. It contains approximately 60 percent of the useful butyric acid and only 7 percent of the unfavourable fatty acids. In addition, the first cold-pressed rapeseed oil contains the necessary amount of natural vitamin E, which improves the endocrine system.
Until the 1960s, rapeseed oil was used exclusively for technical purposes. This product began to be consumed as a food after Canadian scientists developed a method of cleaning rapeseed seeds from toxic erucic acid.
According to the Index Mundi, the top 10 world exporters of rapeseed oil include Canada, Russia, Belarus, UAE, EU, Ukraine, Australia, USA, China and Kazakhstan.
Despite the fact that rapeseed is grown in Europe, countries have to import it to meet the demand for this product. Therefore, the EU is the second largest importer of rapeseed in the world after China.
In European countries (including the UK), rapeseed imports increased by 119% between 2019 and 2020 compared with imports in the previous five years. Ukrainian import of the product currently account for 70%, from Canada – 21%, and only 4% for other countries.
The top five importers of rapeseed include the Netherlands (product supplies to this country accounted for 26% of total grain imports to Europe), France (23%), Germany (19%), Belgium (19%) and Poland (4%). The rest of the countries receive 9% of imports.
Among the largest suppliers of rapeseed oil to the European Union are Russia (39% of total supplies), Ukraine (31%), UAE (14%) and Belarus (10%).
Import of rapeseed oil to the EU countries – Features of deliveries
Among European countries the leaders in rapeseed oil import are Lithuania (25% of total supply), Poland (23%), Netherlands (20%), Latvia (12%), Italy (10%), Denmark (5%). The rest of the countries receive 5% of all rapeseed oil imports to European countries.
Compared to the previous five years, the import of rapeseed oil to the EU countries has increased by 28%.
What is needed to supply rapeseed oil to the EU
To supply rapeseed oil to the EU, a number of factors must be taken into account, such as light, air, transport, packaging, etc.
Rapeseed oil is usually transported in tanks and less often in barrels. Containers must be absolutely clean. In addition, oils and fats can spoil quickly. Light, atmospheric oxygen and moisture contribute to this process. Therefore, the tanks and barrels should be filled as full as possible so there is minimum space left. The oil should also only be heated a few degrees a day, otherwise there is a risk of rancidity and other negative changes.
The transport temperature of the oil should be around 15 C (12 – 24 C). In order to pump oil from the tanks after transport, the oil must be at the same temperature as the pumped oil. This temperature is about 15 C. In addition, all fats and oils have a special density (approx. 0.9 g/cm3). As the temperature increases, the density decreases, which may lead to increased volume. This process is known as thermal expansion. Typically, oils increase in volume by 1% of their total volume each time the temperature increases by 15 C. This factor should be taken into account when filling drums or tanks. When transporting to the part of the vehicle where the cargo is located, no oxygen should be allowed to enter, as its presence facilitates oxidation processes and premature rancidity.
The movement of liquid goods may affect the stability of vehicles, and barrels should be secured so that they cannot slip into the hold or loading area and are not damaged.
Among the documents that may be required when transporting rapeseed oil to the EU are Commercial Invoices (Invoice, Preliminary Invoice), transport and insurance documents, as well as other types of documents (Certificate of Origin, packing list, customs value declaration, etc.).