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Germany's 2019 wheat crop set to rise, rapeseed down

HAMBURG: Germany's 2019, wheat harvest will increase 19.8pc on the year to 24.28 million tonnes as conditions point to a

May 14, 2019

HAMBURG: Germany's 2019, wheat harvest will increase 19.8pc on the year to 24.28 million tonnes as conditions point to a recovery after drought caused massive harvest damage last year, the country's association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Tuesday.

Crops in Germany and much of western Europe suffered huge damage from a drought and heatwave in summer 2018.

Germany's 2019, winter rapeseed crop will fall 17.1pc percent on the year to 3.04 million tonnes after reduced sowings, the association said in its latest harvest forecast.

A dry spring and changed planting assessments meant the forecasts were slightly down from the association's previous harvest estimate on April 16, when it estimated Germany's 2019, wheat harvest at 24.44 million tonnes and the winter rapeseed crop at 3.24 million tonnes.

Crops have benefited from rain in much of Germany in recent weeks and cooler weather which stopped rainfall evaporation, the DRV said.

This had significantly reduced stress caused by the dry spring. Rain came just in time to prevent serious damage to plants, the DRV said.

South and west Germany received sufficient moisture but more rain is still urgently needed in parts of northeast Germany, which is an important production region for Germany's grain exports, it said.

The association cut its forecast for Germany's rapeseed crop because plants had suffered from the dry spring while official estimates of the planted area have been cut, it said.

Germany's national statistics agency had on Monday estimated a 27.5pc reduction in winter rapeseed plantings for the 2019, harvest after dry autumn weather hindered sowings.

It also estimated an increase in wheat sowings.

Germany is the European Union's second largest wheat producer after France and in many years the EU's largest producer of rapeseed, Europe's main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.

Germany's winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, will increase by 32.8 percent on last year's drought-reduced harvest, to 9.78 million tonnes, the association said.

The spring barley crop, used for malt and beer production, is expected to fall by 4.1 percent on the year to 2.11 million tonnes partly because the mild winter has reduced the need to replant other frost-damaged grains.

The grain maize (corn) crop will rise 30.2 percent from last year's heatwave damaged crop to 4.35 million tonnes.

Maize crop yields suffered especially from last year's drought.

Copyright Reuters, 2019