March 10, 2015
Robust wheat production, fewer exports seen for EU in 2015-16
Wheat inventories in the European Union are expected to rise to a record level in six years as total harvest is forecast to stay above 150 million tonnes and exports are seen declining this year.
The European Commission, in its first forecasts on EU crop for 2015-16, said wheat production would reach 150.8 million tonnes, or 6.4 million tonnes lower than last year's record harvest but still considered a bumper harvest and the third-biggest ever.
The EC's estimate is higher than those of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's 147 million tonnes and Abares'143 million tonnes. Abares stands for Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, that country's official commodities bureau.
The EC estimated the area planted to wheat to be 26.64 million hectares, or less 800,000 hectares from last year but still above average.
It, however, saw wheat exports in the 28-nation bloc declining 12% to 28.2 million tonnes, a three-year low, resulting in a 5.6-million-tonne increase in inventories to 19.5 million tonnes, the highest since 2009-10.