July 18, 2012


Germany's 2012 wheat harvest forecast up



Germany's 2012 wheat harvest forecast has been raised by the German Farm Cooperatives Association to 21.9 million tonnes from 21.3 million tonnes estimated in June, it said on Tuesday (July 17).


Germany harvested 22.7 million tonnes of wheat in 2011.


The association also raised its forecast of Germany's 2012 winter rapeseed crop to 4.70 million tonnes from the 4.51 tonnes it forecast in June and the 3.8 million tonnes Germany harvested in 2011.


"The weather conditions were relatively favourable to crop development in past weeks, with widespread showers enabling grain filling especially in wheat which is positive for yields," the association said.


Germany, along with much of west Europe, has had repeated rain and generally cloudy weather in the last month with little sunshine.


European benchmark wheat futures in Paris hit new contract highs this week and last week, with concern about possible rain damage to crops in France and Britain adding to harvest worries in the US and Black Sea. But German crops have a slightly later development phase than France and Britain and so can absorb the impact of summer rain.


Some wheat harvesting has started in isolated areas of south Germany with very mixed yields, the association said. But the yields so far confirm the current wheat harvest forecast, it said. A widespread harvest start is not expected until August.


Rapeseed has also benefitted from rain. The association now forecasts rapeseed yields of 3.58 tonnes a hectare, up from 3.44 tonnes forecast in June and 2.93 tonnes harvested in 2011.


The association now forecasts Germany's 2012 grains crop of all types at 42.8 million tonnes, up from 41.5 million tonnes forecast in June and compared to 41.8 million tonnes harvested in 2011. But this is still well below the five-year average crop of 45 million tonnes as the sudden cold snap which hit much of Europe in February damaged German crops, the association said.


Germany's 2012 winter barley crop, used for animal feed, is now forecast to rise to 6.72 million tonnes from 6.67 million tonnes last year. In June the association had forecast a fall to 6.32 million tonnes.


German barley is now ready for harvesting in much of the country, it said. But the repeated rain often forced farmers to stop work and more sunshine is urgently needed to allow barley to be gathered, it said.


The corn crop is now expected to rise to 5.24 million tonnes from 5.18 million tonnes harvested in 2011 and 5.18 million tonnes forecast in June.