European Union grains production will fall in 2016 for a second successive year, Coceral said, proving relatively sanguine over wheat prospects, but more downbeat on the outlook for barley and corn production.
The Brussels-based industry group, in its first forecasts for 2016, pegged the EU grains harvest at 306.3m tonnes, a drop of some 2.6m tonnes from last year’s result.
The forecast of a downgrade contrasts with expectations from many other commentators of a rebuild in output, with the European Commission this week forecasting a rise of some 1.2m tonnes in production of overall grains, albeit to a level well short of the 2014 record, which it pegs at 332.1m tonnes.
Producers’ group Copa Cogeca forecasts a rise in output this year of 4.3m tonnes.
Corn, barley outlooks
Coceral was more downbeat on expectations for the recovery in EU corn production this year, after drought took last year’s output below 59m tonnes for the first time in seven years, forecasting a harvest of 63.2m tonnes.
Strategie Grains has pegged this year’s crop at 63.9m tonnes, while the European Commission forecasts a 67.3m-tonne result
Coceral’s data included an estimate of a French crop of 14.2m tonnes which, bar last year’s result, would be the weakest since 2010, and an estimate which reflected largely a lower area estimate the being used by Brussels officials.
Similarly for barley too, the estimate for 58.9m-tonne crop – well below estimates from Strategie Grains of 60.2m tonnes and the commission of 61.5m tonnes – reflected a relatively weak area estimate, with sowings estimated at 12.3m hectares, compared with Brussels’ 12.7m-hectare figure.
However, Coceral was more upbeat on expectations for the EU soft wheat crop, which it pegged at 145.2m tonnes – a drop of 5.1m tonnes, on its estimates, but above a forecast from the commission of a 143.6m-tonne crop.
Strategie Grains last week trimmed its estimate for the harvest by 500,000 tonnes to 142.6m tonnes.
Coceral was more sanguine in particular on prospects for the UK harvest, the EU’s third biggest, which it pegged at 15.0m tonnes, some 600,000 tonnes above the commission estimate, with the Polish crop, at 10.8m tonnes, forecast more than 700,000 tones larger.
The French harvest, the EU’s biggest, was pegged at 38.8m tonnes, down some 1.5m tonnes year on year, reflecting an expectation that yields will fall short of the bumper 2015 levels.
Separately, official data on Friday showed 93% of the French soft wheat crop in “good” or “excellent” condition, down 1 point week on week, but a little better than the 91% reading a year ago.
In the oilseeds sector, Coceral forecast a 21.56m-tonne rapeseed crop, a drop of a modest 250,000 tonnes year on year, and an estimate in line with those of other commentators.
Strategie Grains, for instance, this week pegged the crop at 21.5m tonnes, while the commission forecasts a 21.3m-tonne crop, while the International Grains Council has forecast a 21.4m-tonne harvest.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/eu-grain-output-to-fall-for-second-year-says-coceral–9408.html)