European cereal production is forecast lower, but oilseed output looks promising

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Aleksandr Bunin
© GettyImages/Aleksandr Bunin

Related tags oilseeds Ukraine disease pests protein crops

Experts from the Copa and Cogeca working groups on the cereal and oilseeds markets estimated this week that cereal production in the EU-27 will reach 277m tons in the 2022 harvest, some 4.4% lower than the year prior.

That volume would also be 3.8% below the multiannual average of 288m tons.

The EU-27 common wheat area was almost stable with 21.7m hectares planted. Due to lower yields, production is expected to decline to 123.4m tons compared to 129.2m ton last year.

Jean-François Isambert, chairman of the cereals working party of Copa-Cogeca, said the expected lower yield for EU wheat production is due to the crop’s exposure to high temperatures, rain deficit or hail.

Commenting on the impact of geopolitical developments on grain markets, he said there was a need for greater transparency and stronger competition in the EU fertilizer market. “We are also concerned with the logistical bottlenecks affecting grain exports from Ukraine and the associated risks of market disturbances.”

And on issues closer to home, he noted: “Grain farmers need legal certainty now as they will have to make decisions for next year’s crop rotation in the weeks to come. The Commission must swiftly decide on flexibility measures in the CAP 2023 before autumn sowing.”

cereals copa

Regarding the oilseed harvest, the projections are more positive. Copa and Cogeca forecast a hike to 32.1m tons, 8.5% above last year and above the multiannual average of 29.8m tons.

The higher EU-27 oilseeds output expected stems from a boost in planted area of almost 1m hectares compared to the previous season. Yields should also hold if weather conditions are favorable, said the specialists

Pedro Gallardo, chairman of the oilseeds and protein crops working party, said that apart from the Iberian Peninsula and some central European regions, planting conditions for winter crops including oilseed rape were good.

“The area of sunflower and protein crops sown in spring have been boosted following the invasion of Ukraine, +9.3% and +6% respectively. However, these projections should not make us forget the growing production difficulties.”

oilseeds eu copa

Referring to the current EU system for the authorization and control of pesticide use, he said:

“Protecting crops from diseases and pests is complicated because effective means of protection are no longer available. There is an urgent need to provide access to varieties that are better adapted to climate change and resistant to diseases and pests and to also provide effective alternative protection methods.”

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