LONDON, ENGLAND — Wheat production in the E.U. is forecast at 149.5 million tonnes for 2019-20, up 9% compared to 2018-19 but below the previous monthly forecast, according to a July 31 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Projected output for 2019-20 fell by 2 million tonnes from the June forecast due to an unprecedented heatwave that affected many of the E.U.’s 28 member countries.
“The rains came too late for Spain and there are concerns in Germany that the period of extremely hot weather in June halted the development of its wheat crop,” the USDA said. “It had otherwise been progressing well, but the heatwave caused a decline in yield compared to previous expectations.
“It is a similar story in northern France and Belgium where yield expectations have been lowered and a watchful eye is also being kept on the crops in Poland and the Baltic states.”
The USDA said the reduction in forecast production in 2019-20 combined with an expectation of strong competition from Black Sea origins means E.U. wheat exports are now forecast at 25 million tonnes, 1 million higher than in 2018-19 but below the previous forecast.
The 2019-20 E.U. corn crop is forecast to increase slightly from the previous monthly report, although the USDA said “a lack of precipitation remains a concern for Germany, France, Hungary and Poland.”
The USDA pegged the upcoming E.U. corn crop at 64.5 million tonnes, up 300,000 tonnes from the June forecast as well as the 2018-19 total of 64.2 million tonnes.