In its first forecast for 2021, COCERAL sees the total grain crop in the EU-27+UK at 307.4 million tons, a significant increase over the 295.7 million tons harvested in 2020.
The report released on Dec. 9 projects wheat production (excluding durum) will recover from 127.9 million tons to 143 million tons, driven by higher expected plantings and yields in France, Germany, the UK, and the Balkan countries where adverse weather had affected the last crop.
COCERAL forecasts EU-27+UK 2021 barley production at 61.5 million tons, down from 63.1 million tons last year. While Germany and France are forecast to see much better crops than in 2020, production is seen down in Spain, where weather during the most critical crop development stage has been excellent in 2020, and in the UK, where spring barley planting should decrease substantially as the country has planted more winter grains this year than last year.
The EU-27+UK 2021 corn crop is seen by COCERAL at 63.1 million tons, up from last year’s 62.8-million-tonne crop, with much higher crops in the Balkan countries and small reductions in several other EU member states.
The EU-27+UK rapeseed crop is forecast to recover slightly from 16.9 million tons to 17.8 million tons because of slightly higher crops in several countries, including Germany, France, the UK, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
Previous grain output forecast for the EU
The grain output was previously forecast to decline by 3% over the previous year due to extremely challenging planting conditions in France and the United Kingdom, according to a May 6 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The output is expected to reach 304 million tons, down from 315 million in 2019-20, the USDA said.
“If realized, this will be very close to both the five- and 10-year production averages but belies a reduction in the area of around 500,000 hectares and 1 million hectares, respectively, and corresponding increases in average grain yields,” the USDA said.
The projected sharp decline in grain production in the UK and France are due to “a very wet fall and a long, mild and wet winter,” which has disrupted planting and raised disease concerns, the USDA said.
With both France and the UK each projected to see a more than a 5-million-tonne reduction in their 2020-21 wheat crops, EU wheat output is forecast to fall by nearly 11 million tons’ year-on-year to 144 million tons due to a 700,000-hectare decrease in planted area.
The USDA projects EU grain exports to decline 10%, from 43.7 million tons to 39.3 million tons. EU ending stocks also will tumble, according to the USDA, to 25 million tons from 28.8 million tons, a drop of 13% year-on-year.
Source: World of Grain