EU wheat production forecast lowered, corn crop figures boosted

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Veresovich
© GettyImages/Veresovich
In its fourth forecast for the 2018 crop, Coceral has revised down its EU total grain crop forecast from its September figure of 283.5m tons to 281.7m tons.

That level would be much below last year’s crop when farmers harvested 300.2 m tons of grains. 

It said it lowered its forecast for the EU wheat crop from 129.9m tons to 128.6m tons, which would also be lower than the 141.9m tons reached in 2017. 

Coceral, which is the European association representing the trade in cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agrosupply, reported that the reductions have been mainly made for Scandinavia, in respect of wheat production. 

The organization said it has also revised down the EU’s barley production forecast. That goes from 57.4m tons to 56m tons, with reductions again mainly seen in Scandinavia. The 2017 EU barley crop stood at 58.3m tons. 

In terms of the EU’s corn crop, Coceral said it has revised upward its projections from 58.9m tons to 60.5m tons, with further upward revisions in the Balkan countries. Last year, EU corn production came in at 60.7m tons.  

The group’s forecast for EU rapeseed production was almost unchanged at 19.4m tons.

That would be lower than the final rapeseed crop in the bloc in 2017, which registered at 21.9m tons.

Coceral has also pegged in EU soybean production at 3.6m tons against 3.2m tons for 2017.

However, its forecast for overall oilseed production in the EU, including the sunflower crop is lower than last year 34.1m tons as opposed to 35.9m tons in 2017. 

Global grain and oilseed markets

In the latest market report from the cereals and oilseeds division of the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) on the global grain and oilseed trends, the analysts reported​ that grain markets tracked sideways early last week, before US markets rose owing to US and China trade meetings at the G20 summit.  

Currency fluctuations continued to cause day-to-day shifts in UK markets and wider European prices, but overall markets moved sideways over the course of the week. 

In terms of what to watch for on the grain side, the analysts said the Argentine wheat harvest is progressing slightly ahead of last year according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BAGE). 

Harvest progress as at 28 November was 32% complete, but only 38% of the crop was rated as good or in excellent condition, compared to 73% at this stage last year. However, the November forecast for wheat production was maintained at 19.2Mt, 2.2Mt higher year on year, despite reduced conditions, they said. 

Meanwhile, following an escalation in tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the Azov Sea, the impact on future Ukrainian grain exports from this region is unclear and could be disrupted, said the market specialists. 

Global oilseeds prices had mixed movement last week, they noted. 

“Chicago soybean futures gained in advance of the G20 summit and the Chinese-US trade talks. Meanwhile in Europe, Paris rapeseed futures continued to drift due to a lack of demand, whilst new crop futures rose slightly following downward revisions to the projected 2019 EU rapeseed area.”

Related topics: Markets, Commodity pricing, Oilseeds, Grains

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