March 24, 2015

24/03/2015: EU grain yields to fall, despite 'positive' conditions

European Union growers will achieve lower grain yields this year, despite largely benign conditions, official researchers said, noting dryness in parts of Germany, Portugal and Spain, and too much rain in some areas of Romania, reports.

The outlook for grains output this year in the EU, the top wheat producer, is "predominantly positive", the European Commission's Mars research division said.

"Winter crops are generally in good shape and well developed in the EU due to the mild winter conditions," Mars said in a monthly report.
"In general, prospects for the new season are promising."

Nonetheless, it forecast yields for barley, corn and wheat which, while above the five-year average, were below last year's bumper results.

The forecasts were also below levels which commission farm officials themselves used two weeks ago in their initial crop production report, which noted "generally favourable weather conditions", with a "mild winter and absence of higher than normal impacting frost".

The Mars unit forecast a 4.8 percent drop to 5.79 tonnes per hectare in the EU soft wheat yield, with the barley yield see down 5.5 percent at 4.63 tonnes per hectare, and the corn result down 4.3 percent at 7.19 tonnes per hectare.

The Mars report highlighted that "soil water availability is becoming a concern" in Portugal and western Spain, which have seen "significantly drier-than-usual conditions" since the start of last month, with rainfall levels less than 50 percent of normal.
"The current low levels of soil water availability could be a relevant limiting factor to plant growth in the coming weeks."

Most of Germany, the EU's second-ranked grains producing country, has received below-average rainfall since the beginning of December.

"The deficit is most prominent in Rheinland Pfalz, Hessen, Thüringen and Bayern, where soil moisture contents are starting to decrease."

In France, the coastal area of Languedoc Roussillon, in the south, has received only half of average rainfall, a factor which may curtail yields of durum, the type of wheat used in making pasta.

However, "generally, conditions are favourable for [French] winter crops, and the season has gotten off to a good start," adding that overall the outlook for German grains was "positive" too.

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
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