BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — In its second forecast for the 2023 crop, COCERAL projects the total grain crop in the EU-27+UK at 303.5 million tonnes, down from the 304.4 million in the December forecast, but up significantly from the 290.7 million harvested in 2022.

COCERAL, the European association of trade in cereals, oilseeds, rice, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agrosupply, said the main reason for the total grain crop increase from last year is the expected recovery of corn production, which is now seen at 62.3 million tonnes. The previous forecast was 64.5 million tonnes and last year’s crop at just 52.5 million.

Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy are forecast to harvest much larger corn crops after the 2022 crop had been affected by severe drought and heat. However, COCERAL said the French corn crop is not expected to recover to a substantial extent because plantings are forecast to drop due to high input costs. As a result, sunflower seeds and other lower-input crops are expected to replace some of the corn acreage.

Wheat production (excluding durum) is forecast at 144.5 million tonnes, up from 143.3 million in the last forecast and from 142.3 million  in 2022. Larger wheat crops are expected in Spain, Italy, Hungary and the Balkan countries.

The EU-27+UK 2023 barley production is forecast at 59.6 million tonnes, down slightly from the previous forecast of 60 million and slightly up from 58.8 million in 2022.

The EU-27+UK rapeseed crop is forecast at 21.1 million tonnes compared to 20.5 million in the previous forecast and 21.1 million in 2022. Plantings are marginally higher year-on-year, while yields are expected to drop slightly from last year’s level.