European grain storage bottlenecks critical despite investment: EU


Critical bottlenecks remain across the European Union’s grain storage and logistics system despite an increase in storage capacity across the continent, according to a report published by the European Commission Monday.

EU-wide storage capacity from grains, oilseeds and protein crops increased 20% from 2005-2015, while EU output was up 11% over the same period.

France currently has the largest storage capacity in the EU at 91 million mt, followed by Germany with 48 million mt, and Spain with 30 million mt.

And while the report struck a positive tone over the EU’s structural storage capacity, it noted patchy investment in the Baltic states and Poland may result in the need to periodically “free up” space,

The study’s findings chime with the pace of sales seen across the EU in recent years, with Baltic sellers typically exporting at a rapid pace early into the marketing year and sometimes acting as a transhipment route for grain out of neighbouring Russia.

While the Polish crop is occasionally withheld from the market, this typically takes place at the farm level, where the report identified a concentration of national storage space.

French sellers, meanwhile, can hold back for later in the season and wait for higher prices, as cooperatives and trade houses take advantage of investment in storage capacity.

A similar situation can be seen in Romania and Bulgaria, where trade houses have invested heavily in developing extra storage capacity, selling heavily from ports such as Constanta, Varna, and Burgas.

Issues also remain along major transport corridors, with 18 identified as posing problems along the Danube, half of which are in Romania or Hungary.

Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult