HAMBURG, GERMANY – A prolonged drought has severely damaged Germany’s corn crop, which is projected to decline by 20% year-on-year to 3.5 million tonnes, according to a report by Reuters, citing Germany’s association of farm cooperatives.

Western Europe’s other large corn producer, France, also has experienced severe drought and is expected to produce its smallest corn crop since 1990.

Because of the small 2022 crop, Germany, typically a net importer even when producing a bumper corn crop, will depend on shipments of corn from Ukraine, which has been at war with Russia during the last eight months, according to Reuters.

After a five-month period in which a naval blockade prevented Ukraine from exporting grain from its Black Sea ports, an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey has allowed grain shipments to take place since late July. But the agreement is set to expire in late November and Russia has not committed to extending the deal.

The latest forecast from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture sees global corn production declining in the 2022-23 marketing year by 50 million tonnes, to 1.168 billion tonnes. It also projects exports to fall by nearly 20 million tonnes, to 183 million, and ending stocks at 301.1 million tonnes, a 6-million-tonne decrease from the previous year.