December 16, 2011
EU wheat production expected to reach 142 million tonnes
EU's 2012 wheat crop is expected to reach 142.4 million tonnes, Strategie Grains stated in its first formal forecast for the crop.
A result at that level would be the best since the record 2008 harvest, which topped 150 million tonnes, and represent an increase of 3.5% on-year.
It reflects higher hopes for the average yield, which the analysis group pegged, for non-durum wheat, at 5.8 tonnes per hectare using analysis of historical trends.
This year's yield was held back to 5.6 tonnes per hectare by a historically-dry spring in western Europe, from which many areas have yet fully to recover water levels, although some better-watered eastern countries achieved bumper harvests.
However, the estimate was below a preliminary figure released last month when Strategie Grains pegged the non-durum, or soft wheat, crop at 135.8 million tonnes, compared with 133.5 million tonnes on Thursday (Dec 15).
The decline reflected trimmed expectations for sowings, pegged at 23.1 million hectares for soft wheat, bank in line with those for the newly-finished harvest.
The estimate echoes a forecast from the United Nations' food agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, last week that EU wheat sowings would prove "unchanged from last year", bucking a world trend of increased plantings.
"Although wheat prices remain relatively high, crop rotation requirements and attractive prices for other crops will inï¬‚uence farmers' planting decisions," the FAO said.