Rebounding grain yields in the European Union will lift combined harvests of soft wheat, corn and barley to a five-year high, data from the bloc showed.
Total output of the three crops may be 256.1 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season, up 8.6 percent from a year earlier and the highest since 2008, according to estimates released today by the Brussels-based European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm. Production is increasing in part as yields in eastern Europe recover from dry weather in the past season.
“All three of the major grains are expected to see noticeable year-on-year increases in production,” Jack Watts, a senior analyst at the U.K.’s Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, said in a report. “As well as increases in production, demand is also forecast to increase, driven by higher anticipated feed usage.”
EU soft-wheat production may be 131.3 million tons in the season, which started July 1, up 6.2 percent from a year earlier while below last month’s 131.7 million-ton forecast, the estimates showed. The barley harvest may be 59 million tons, up 9.1 percent from last year, while corn production at 65.8 million tons will be 13 percent larger. Yields for all three grains measured in tons a hectare (2.47 acres) will be higher than last year, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said Aug. 26.
Total consumption of grain in the 28-nation bloc, including durum wheat, rye and oats, may be 274.7 million tons, the commission said. That includes 165.4 million tons of animal-feed use, up 1.3 percent from the prior season. EU grain exports may be 26.1 million tons, down 17 percent from the prior season.
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