Greek farmers are seeing red in profits despite huge surplus of grain harvest as prices have fallen fifty percent from levels a year ago.
The US Department of Agriculture, in its Foreign Agricultural Service report, said that Greek corn farmers in 2007 received EUR0.27/kg but this year are offered prices somewhere between EUR0.09 -0.12/kg. Due to the low price, corn growers are refusing to sell their crop and in some areas they have stopped harvesting.
Farm gate wheat prices range between EUR0.22â€“0.25/kg (compared to EUR0.50-0.60/kg in 2007).
Cotton farmers are also offered a very low price of about EUR0.20/kilogramme and most refuse to sell. Last year, they got twice this price.
Prospects for the near future and for the next crop year are simply unpredictable, said the USDA. Current farm prices are not acceptable to the producers as it generally ranges 50 percent or more below last year's levels.
There are more than 600,000 tonnes of seed cotton in stock (including about 10 percent of the 2007 cotton crop), together with about 2.5 million tonnes of corn and about 550,000 tonnes of wheat (mostly durum).
The Government of Greece (GOG) pledged to provide EUR150 million from the national budget to farm groups and coops in the form of an interest-free loan. But some sources said that some farming organisations are making false reports of stock volume in order to get bigger loans.
For the full USDA report, please click here
US$1=EUR0.7302 (Dec 16)