Bloomberg News

EU Cuts Forecast for 2012-13 Soft-Wheat Crop and Raises Corn

July 03, 2012

Soft-wheat production in the European Union will be lower than expected a month ago, while the outlook was raised for the barley and corn harvests, according to updated estimates from the 27-nation bloc.

EU farmers will harvest 126.1 million metric tons of soft wheat in the year through June 2013, based on European Commission estimates published online today. That’s 400,000 tons less than expected previously, and compares with 128.6 million tons in the previous year.

The EU typically grows about a fifth of the world’s wheat, data from the International Grains Council show. Production in Spain is forecast to slide after a winter drought, even as yield prospects improved in France and Germany, the EU’s crop-forecast unit wrote in a June 22 report.

Ending stocks for soft wheat will fall to 10.4 million tons at the end of the 2012-13 season from 10.9 million tons in 2011-12, according to the commission, which raised the latest estimate by 400,000 tons from the previous outlook.

The outlook for corn was raised to 66.8 million tons from 63.7 million tons, slipping from last year’s production of 67.7 million tons. Ending stocks are seen at 14.7 million tons, 4.2 million tons more than forecast a month ago even as the outlook for use of the grain to feed animals was increased.

EU farmers will harvest 55.5 million tons of barley, 100,000 tons more than forecast a month ago and rising from 51.3 million tons in 2011-12, according to the data. Stocks at the end of June 2013 are forecast to be 9.8 million tons, less than the 10.6 million tons in the previous forecast on lower-than- expected inventories at the end of 2011-12.

The EU forecast rapeseed production will decline to 18.8 million tons from 19.2 million tons in 2011-12, and expects sunflower-seed output to slip to 8 million tons from 8.4 million tons, based on the forecast.

The outlook for durum wheat production was little changed at 8 million tons, compared with 8.1 million tons in 2011-12, according to the data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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