EU wheat production to bounce back next season, officials say


EU wheat production will rise by 6.5% next season, as yields return to normal after last year's disappointing harvest.

The European Commission pegged its first forecast usable soft wheat production in the European Union in 2017-18 at 143.0m tonnes in 2017-18.

This would be an increase of 6.5% from the current season, although some 800,000 tonnes behind early estimates from Strategie Grain.

Return to trend yields

The increase in productions was primarily down to a bounce back in the French cereal crop, up some 26% from last year, when wet and cloudy conditions hit wheat production hard.

The European Commission said its production numbers were based on a return to trend yields.

Cereal production was also seen rising in Germany and Poland, staying largely flat in the UK, and falling In Italy, Spain, and Hungary.

Falling areas

The increase in soft wheat production comes despite a forecast 1.3% drop in planted area to 23.8m hectares.

The commission forecast combined soft wheat and durum planted area at 26.3m hectares, down 1.8% year on year.

This is below the 26.9m hectares forecast by the International Grain Council last month, which saw plantings basically flat year-on-year.

Exports to bounce back

The commission also forecast 2017-18 soft wheat exports at to 28.9m tonnes in 2017-18, up from an expected 24.0m in current season.

European Union soft wheat exports in the 2016-17 season had reached 16.1 million tonnes by February 28, according to customs data released on Thursday, down 12% from the same time last year.

In the last reporting week, the EU shipped 130,000 tonnes of soft wheat, on EU customs data showed.

The commission forecast soft wheat stocks at the end of 2017-18 at 10.2m tonnes, little changed from 10.3 million forecast for the end of the current season.

Corn production to soar

The commission also forecast a big boost in feed grain production.

The commission projected the EU's 2017-18 barley crop at 62.7m tonnes, up 5.0% year-on-year, and corn production at 66.6m tonnes, up 10.3%, thanks primarily to rising planted area.

These figures are well ahead Strategie Grain's forecasts, by 1.4m tonnes for barley, and 5.2m tonnes for corn.

The rise in corn production was largely down to an increase in planted area.


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