July 4, 2012


EU soft wheat crop forecast down, corn up



An updated forecasts from the 27-nation bloc stated that EU's soft wheat production outlook will be lesser than a month ago, while the projections for barley and corn harvest were raised.


EU farmers will harvest 126.1 million tonnes of soft wheat in the year through June 2013, based on European Commission estimates published online Tuesday (July 3). That's 400,000 tonnes less than expected previously, and compares with 128.6 million tonnes in the previous year.


The EU typically grows about a fifth of the world's wheat, data from the International Grains Council show. Production in Spain is forecast to slide after a winter drought, even as yield prospects improved in France and Germany, the EU's crop-forecast unit wrote in a June 22 report.


Ending stocks for soft wheat will fall to 10.4 million tonnes at the end of the 2012-13 season from 10.9 million tonnes in 2011-12, according to the commission, which raised the latest estimate by 400,000 tonnes from the previous outlook.


The outlook for corn was raised to 66.8 million tonnes from 63.7 million tonnes, slipping from last year's production of 67.7 million tonnes. Ending stocks are seen at 14.7 million tonnes, 4.2 million tonnes more than forecast a month ago even as the outlook for use of the grain to feed animals was increased.


EU farmers will harvest 55.5 million tonnes of barley, 100,000 tonnes more than forecast a month ago and rising from 51.3 million tonnes in 2011-12, according to the data. Stocks at the end of June 2013 are forecast to be 9.8 million tonnes, less than the 10.6 million tonnes in the previous forecast on lower-than- expected inventories at the end of 2011-12.


The EU forecast rapeseed production will decline to 18.8 million tonnes from 19.2 million tonnes in 2011-12, and expects sunflower-seed output to slip to eight million tonnes from 8.4 million tonnes, based on the forecast.


The outlook for durum wheat production was little changed at eight million tonnes, compared with 8.1 million tonnes in 2011-12, according to the data.

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