SOFIA, BULGARIA – Thanks to favorable weather, Bulgaria is anticipating increased production of both winter and spring grains in the 2024-25 marketing year, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

Strong yields are expected to offset a 4% decline in planted area for wheat, with FAS forecasting output at 6.9 million tonnes, up slightly from the previous year. Wheat exports are projected to reach 5.2 million tonnes in the 2023-24 marketing year, which ends June 30. That would be a 60% increase over the 4.1-million-tonne total the previous year. Most of this year’s shipments have gone to non-European Union countries, FAS said.

Increased interest in barley has led to a 36% increase in planted area and a projected production increase of 7% to 850,000 tonnes, the report said.

“Similar to wheat, export demand for barley has been very good and exports have been driven by the bigger crop and record-large beginning stocks,” FAS said. “As of May 31, barley exports reached 436,000 tonnes, or more than double than a year ago,” FAS said.

The biggest production increase is expected in corn, with FAS projecting a crop of 2.8 million tonnes, up from 2.4 million in 2023-24. It noted that the EC MARS bulletin estimates average corn yields are expected to soar to 6.6 tonnes per hectare, a 57% increase compared to the previous year and 21% above the five-year average.

Unlike wheat and barley, corn exports are seen declining significantly in 2023-24, falling 34% to 900,000 tonnes.