Coceral forecast for EU grains and oilseeds

Favorable weather conditions in spring paid dividends for EU wheat yields, but rapeseed output lower

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/dmbaker
© GettyImages/dmbaker

Related tags: Rapeseed, wheat yields, barley

In its third estimate for the 2019 crop, Coceral sees the EU total grain crop at 304.9 million tons (Mt).

This is up from the May 2019 forecast of 301 Mt and significantly up from last year’s crop when farmers harvested 281.5 Mt of grains. 

Wheat production is predicted to hit 143.3 Mt, higher than the 140.3 Mt seen in May and well above the 128.8Mt in 2018. Crop estimates for France and the UK have seen the most significant upward revisions, with actual yields being better than previously forecast. 

“Favorable weather conditions from April to June supported yield development more than expected earlier this year,”​ Aivija Stravinskaite, policy officer, Coceral, told FeedNavigator.   

Those favorable weather conditions were also behind the increase in EU barley output. Coceral forecasts that barley production for the bloc for 2019 at 60.8 Mt, up from 59 Mt in the May forecast and from 56. Mt last year. 

The organization, though, has revised downwards the EU’s corn crop from 62.9Mt to 61.6Mt -and this decline is mainly due to downward revisions in Germany and France due to hot and dry weather during pollination. 

Oilseeds outlook​ 

The rapeseed production forecast for the EU has been reduced from 17.9 Mt in May to 17.3 Mt now due to further reductions in the French, German, and the UK’s crops. In 2018, the EU’s rapeseed crop stood at 20 Mt.

Asked to document the exact reasons for the reduced EU rapeseed crop this year, Stravinskaite noted the low acreage due to drought, the unattractive prices during planting time, the lack of neonicotinoides and an ever-increasing number of banned substances used in pesticides as well as the fact there were too tight crop rotations in some areas of the EU. 

She sees EU rapeseed production continuing to decline in comparison to previous years. However, the lower the acreage and production, the higher the price, and so it becomes more attractive for farmers to replant it, said the policy officer.

Mintec prices for EU rapeseed are currently trending up, with prices rapidly rising 3.4% between August 14 and September 18.

Although EU sunflower production is anticipated to rise 4% year-on-year due to increased acreage, soybean production is forecast to fall by 2.4% this marketing year, finds a Mintec report​. The decline in soybean production in conjunction with rapeseed is likely to weigh down on the overall output of oilseeds in the EU, to around 6% less compared to the previous year, said the Mintec analysts. 

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