December 18, 2012


EU corn crop forecast down 16% this year



After Italy's crop fell on drought and a heat wave, the EU corn harvest is forecast to fall by 16% this year, with production lower than expected in September.


According to an e-mailed report from grain-industry lobby Coceral, the corn crop for the 27 nations in the EU is estimated to fall to 54.7 million tonnes from 64.8 million tons last year. The outlook was cut from 56 million tonnes previously.


Italy was the EU's third-largest corn grower last year behind France and Romania, based on data from the International Grains Council. The country was also the EU's third-largest importer of the grain. Its corn imports fell to 1.43 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2012 from 1.97 million tonnes in the year-earlier period, industry group Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti reported this week.


Farmers in Italy harvested an estimated 7.59 million tonnes of corn, down from 9.22 million tonnes in 2011, Coceral estimates. That compares with the group's September forecast for a crop of 8.54 million tonnes.


Romania's corn crop fell less than expected, dropping to 5.41 million tonnes from 10.4 million tonnes, compared with a previous outlook for production of 5.23 million tonnes.


France's harvest of the grain probably declined to 15.4 million tonnes from 15.9 million tonnes, similar to Coceral's estimate four months ago. The outlook for Hungary's output was maintained at 4.68 tonnes, while Spain's crop was seen at 4.3 million tonnes, the industry group said.


In Germany, corn production probably fell to 5.14 million tonnes from 5.23 million tonnes, based on Coceral's estimates.

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