BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — COCERAL, a European association that focuses on agricultural trade, lowered its production forecast to 296.7 million tonnes in its latest projections for the 2023 European Union (EU) total grains crop, compared to its previous estimate of 303.5 million tonnes in March.
It said the main reason for the downward revision for the 27 EU countries plus the United Kingdom is the current dryness in the northern half of the continent.
Despite the significant downward revision, this year’s crop is expected to be larger than last year’s drought-stricken harvest, which yielded 291.1 million tonnes.
“Crop expectations have been lowered significantly for Sweden, Denmark, and the Baltics,” COCERAL said. “Production has also been revised down for Germany and Spain, where current rains came too late for wheat and barley.”
Wheat production (excluding durum) is expected at 142.4 million tonnes, down from 144.5 million in the last forecast and from 142.5 million in 2022, according to COCERAL. The EU-27+UK 2023 barley production is forecast at 56.6 million tonnes, down from the previous forecast of 59.6 million and from 59.3 million in 2022.
The corn crop is now seen at 61.3 million tonnes, down from the previous forecast of 62.3 million. Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy are forecast to see much bigger crops after the 2022 crop had been affected by severe drought and heat. However, COCERAL noted that the French corn crop is not expected to recover to a substantial extent because plantings are down due to high input costs. More extensive crops, such as sunflower seeds, are seen to substitute a part of the corn area.
The EU-27+UK rapeseed crop is forecast at 21 million tonnes compared to 21.1 million in the previous forecast and 21 million in 2022.
“Plantings are up slightly year-on-year, while yields are expected to drop slightly from last year’s good level,” COCERAL said. “If the current dryness in the northern half of the EU will continue into July, a further cut in the production forecast seems very likely.”
Credit – World-grain.com – by Arvin Donley