July 17, 2008


EU grain output to be up 15 percent led by wheat, corn and barley 



Consultancy Strategie Grains raised its 2008-09 EU grain crop forecast Thursday (July 17, 2008) to 295.7 million tonnes, up 4.4 million tonnes from the June forecast and up 15 percent on the year earlier (2007-2008).


This follows last month's upward revision of 2.2 million tonnes.


The increased production largely came from soft wheat, forecast at 131.7 million tonnes in July. This was up 2.7 million tonnes from the June projection and an 18-percent jump from 2007-08.


Barley output was forecast to rise 9 percent to 62.9 million tonnes while corn output is expected to rise 22 percent to 58.7 million tonnes.  


Favourable weather during the grain-filling period in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia triggered sharp production increases in soft wheat crops there, the report said.


Harvest results in Spain also indicate spring rainfall had a more positive impact on yield than Strategie Grains previously envisaged.


"However these increases are partly offset by significant reductions to yield potentials in northern Europe, stemming from the persistence of dry conditions," Strategie Grains said.


The report also raised the barley crop forecast by 1.1 million tonnes from last month's projection to 62.9 million tonnes.


Most of the barley output increases were for Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Spain. EU farmers have begun to harvest barley, with cutting already drawing to a close in Romania and Bulgaria.


Strategie Grains left the 2008-09 EU corn crop forecast largely unchanged from last month's report.


"The crucial flowering phase has now started in the southern countries and the coming weeks will be crucial in determining final (corn) yields," Strategie Grains said.

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