European wheat yield hopes lifted, but not in France


Mars, the European Union's crop monitoring service slightly raised its forecast for European soft wheat yields, citing favourable prospects in eastern Europe, and the Iberian Peninsula.

Mars lifted wheat prospects across the EU 0.03 tonnes a hectare, to 6.10 tonnes.

This leaves yields some 4.6% over the five-year average, although down 2.9% year on year.

French yields cut

But prospects for France, the EU's top grower, were cut, thanks to prolonged unwanted rain, and very little sunlight, across the north of the country.

Mars cut its yield forecast by 0.08 tonnes per hectare, to 7.37 tonnes per hectare.

This would leave yields down 6.9% from last year, but would be 0.5% on the five-year average.

The Mars forecast for French wheat was well above the 7.07m tonnes per hectare forecast by the French farm ministry this month.

And crop forecasts from private analyst firms have been even lower.

Wet weather, low radiation

"The poor conditions observed in late May continued in June with substantial rainfall, exceptionally low global radiation and near-average temperatures," said Mars.

"Overly wet conditions led to saturated soils," Mars said. "The yields of soft wheat, winter and spring barley (the most impacted crops) have been revised downwards, and are now close to the five-year average and greatly below last year's yields.

Quality of wheat is also expected to take hit, although durum wheat was less effected, due to better weather in the south.

German yields steady

In Germany, the Commission noted no major obstacles to the grain filling of winter and spring cereals, despite the low radiation levels and very wet conditions in most of the country in June".

For German wheat, the Commission said "the yield forecast remains practically unaltered from the June Bulletin and close to the five-year average, but slightly below last year's yield.

December wheat futures were up 0.1% in afternoon deals in Paris, at E174.00 a tonne, but down from the session highs of E177.0 a tonne.

September Paris wheat futures were down 1.0%, to E172.25 a tonne, from eight month highs of E177.25 a tonne.


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