July 4, 2011


EU's Coceral cuts 2011 wheat, barley crop estimates



EU grain trade lobby Coceral cut its forecast for the EU's soft wheat harvest by 3.7% to 126.53 million tonnes in 2011, following widespread drought conditions in much of western Europe.


Coceral said on Friday (Jul 1) that it now expects Europe's top producer, France, to harvest 32.7 million tonnes of soft wheat this year - 10% less than its previous estimate in March - after unusually dry weather earlier in the season damaged crops.


Germany's wheat output is seen only 3% down at 23.7 million tonnes, compared with the earlier estimate of 24.4 million, Coceral said.


The grain lobby cut its estimate of the 27-nation bloc's barley harvest to 51.76 million tonnes this year, compared with 54.51 million forecast previously - a drop of 5%.


The biggest downward revision was again in France, with the latest estimate of its barley crop at 8.5 million tonnes this year, down 17%. Germany is expected to harvest slightly more barley than France in 2011, at 9.3 million tonnes, Coceral said.


Forecasts for oilseeds output in 2011 saw the sharpest overall fall, down 5.7% at 26.5 million tonnes compared with Coceral's earlier estimate of 28.13 million.


This year's corn harvest in Europe is seen at 57.24 million tonnes, down 3.3 % from earlier forecasts - but still up 3.5 % from 2010, Coceral figures showed.


EU farm union Copa-Cogeca's forecast for 2011 soft wheat production was lower than Coceral's, at 122.2 million tonnes, while its forecast for barley was broadly in line at 50.1 million tonnes and its corn estimate higher at 60.2 million tonnes.


"In view of the drought this year which has affected large parts of the EU, the estimates are still very uncertain," Copa-Cogeca's cereals working party chairman Ian Blackhouse said in a statement.

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