PARIS, FRANCE – Strategie Grains on Nov. 18 lowered its estimate of soft wheat planted area in the E.U. for 2020 due to heavy rain that has disrupted field work in western E.U. countries.

The French analyst firm projects the E.U.’s soft wheat area at 23.7 million hectares, about 200,000 hectares lower than its initial forecast in October. It is also slightly lower than the 23.8 million hectares harvested in 2019.

Strategie Grains’ first soft wheat production forecast for 2020 pegged E.U. output at 142.3 million tonnes, down from 145.5 million tonnes the previous year.

In the same report, Strategie Grains said the heavy rain had also reduced expectations for winter barley sowing in Britain and France, but it raised its projection for barley planted area in the E.U. in 2020, citing successful winter barley sowing in Germany and the prospect of some farmers shifting from winter barley to spring barley in Britain and France.

Strategie Grains projects E.U. barley output in 2020 to fall slightly to 59.6 million tonnes, compared to 61.6 million tonnes the previous year.