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EU trims 2021/22 wheat harvest and stocks forecasts

  • Commission cuts soft wheat crop forecast by 400,000 tonnes.
  • Demand revisions also contribute to lower stocks forecast.
  • Barley stocks raised as 2020/21 crop rise outweighs 2021/22 cut.
  • Forecast maize production trimmed, rapeseed unchanged.
Published June 24, 2021

PARIS: The European Commission on Thursday trimmed its forecast of usable production of common wheat in European Union's 27 member countries in 2021/22 to 125.8 million tonnes from 126.2 million estimated last month.

The reduced forecast was nonetheless 7% above the 2020/21 crop of 117.2 million tonnes, the Commission's monthly supply and demand data showed.

The EU is widely expected to produce more wheat this year as farmers were able to expand the planted area after rain-disrupted sowing the previous season and with late-spring weather helping crop growth.

The Commission kept unchanged its outlook for EU exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, in 2021/22 at 30.0 million tonnes. That compared with an expected 27.0 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season that ends on June 30.

However, other demand factors were revised up, with projected wheat use in biofuel and livestock feed increased by 300,000 tonnes each to 3.4 million and 41.3 million tonnes, respectively.

The reduced harvest outlook and upward demand adjustments outweighed a 200,000 tonne rise in expected imports, now seen at 2.7 million tonnes, and led the Commission to cut its 2021/22 common wheat stocks forecast to 10.1 million tonnes from 10.8 million in May.

Projected stocks next season were still up sharply from an expected 8.8 million tonnes at the end of 2020/21.

For barley, the Commission reduced by 1 million tonnes its 2021/22 usable production forecast to 53.5 million tonnes.

However, projected barley stocks next season were increased to 8.4 million tonnes from 6.8 million last month, reflecting the knock-on effect of a 2.1 million tonne upward revision to the 2020/21 crop, now estimated at 56.9 million tonnes.

Usable production of maize in 2021/22 was estimated at 70.6 million tonnes, down 400,000 tonnes from the May forecast.

Projected EU maize imports for 2020/21 and 2021/22 were unchanged from last month at 15 million tonnes for both seasons.

In oilseeds, the Commission kept its 2021/22 rapeseed production estimate at 16.7 million tonnes, but raised forecast imports by 400,000 tonnes to 6.2 million, equalling the level expected this season.

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