EU cuts wheat and maize crop estimates, revises up imports

The European Commission on Thursday cut its estimates of this year’s wheat and maize harvests in the European Union, but revised up its overall supply outlook for the cereals as it increased sharply expected imports.

For common wheat, or soft wheat, EU production was estimated at 125.3 million metric tons, down from 126.1 million forecast a month ago and now slightly below last year’s crop of 125.7 million.

In its supply and demand data, the Commission also lowered its forecast for maize output, to 59.8 million tons from 61.7 million projected a month ago, though it remained well above last year’s drought-ravaged harvest of 52.1 million.

In imports, projected EU soft wheat imports in the 2023/24 season were increased to 6.5 million tons from 4 million while forecast EU maize imports in 2023/24 were raised 20 million tons from 17 million.

The higher import projections led the Commission to increase its outlook for 2023/24 ending stocks in both soft wheat – to 17.8 million tons from 16.3 million last month – and maize – to 17.8 million from 17.3 million.

The Commission trimmed its estimate of this year’s barley harvest by 200,000 tons to 48.4 million, putting it further below last year’s 51.5 million.

Among EU countries, the Commission said it had made the biggest month-on-month cuts to estimated cereal production for Spain, with a 16% reduction, followed by Hungary (-5.8%) and Romania (-4.3%).

Poland was the only EU state for which a significant upward revision had been made to expected cereal output, with a 5.8% increase since last month, it said.

For EU exports, the Commission kept its 2023/24 forecasts unchanged for both soft wheat and barley, at 32 million and 10 million tons respectively.

In oilseeds, estimated production of rapeseed was revised up to 19.6 million tons from 19.1 million previously, now marginally above last year’s output.

Projected 2023/24 rapeseed imports were kept unchanged at 5.8 million tons.

This article has been republished from Nasdaq

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