BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Union’s crop monitoring service on May 23 released a new report showing smaller projected yield for the 2022-23 wheat, barley and rapeseed crops because of a recent stretch of dry weather in parts of Europe.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Center Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS), in its monthly report, forecast soft wheat yield in the EU declining from 5.95 tonnes per hectare in April to 5.89 tph. If realized, this year’s yield would be 2.5% below last year’s level.

Among the parts of the EU dealing with developing drought are France, the top producer of soft wheat in the 27-member bloc of countries.

MARS reduced its projected yield for barley to 4.89 tph, down from 4.97 tph last month. It also revised down its forecast for rapeseed yield slightly from 3.19 tph compared to 3.17 tph. Maize, on the other hand, is projected to remain virtually unchanged at 7.92 tph.

Any reduction in production is of concern globally as supplies continue to tighten as Russia uses a sea blockade to prevent Ukraine, among the world’s top wheat, corn and sunflower seed producers, from exporting grain out of its ports. With dry weather expected to impact grain and oilseed harvests in other top exporting countries, such as the United States and Brazil, global grain stockpiles have fallen to their lowest level in many years, threatening to push more of the global population into food insecurity.