BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Current forecasts for agricultural products in the E.U. are down 2% from the five-year average, but are still 25 million tonnes higher than 2007-08, the European Commission said in its cereal forecast presented to E.U. member states in the Management Committee on Aug. 30.
Despite the drought in certain member states, current forecasts for agricultural products are at 279 million tonnes of cereals. The soft wheat current forecast is at 127 million tonnes, which is a status quo compared to the average over the past five years.
For maize, the current forecast is 60 million tonnes, which is 2% higher than the average over the past five years. Current balance sheet shows a net exporter situation (around 10 million tonnes), instead of a net importer situation for 2007-08 (around 8 million tonnes).
At the world level, due to the drought in the U.S., the forecast of world grains production in 2012-13 is reduced compared to last month.
World carryover stocks are forecast to contract by 33 million tonnes to 338 million tonnes. The current stocks/consumption world ratio remains at a level comparable to 2011. It only decreased from 20% to 19%. This is likely to keep prices at high levels with a high level of volatility.
"The recent developments on the agricultural and food markets have demonstrated once again the need for a strong CAP,” said Dacian Ciolo?, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development. “Over the past weeks, the drought in several regions of the world has led to dramatic price increases for certain commodities, mainly maize and soya which risk destabilizing certain sectors of the European agriculture. This excessive volatility of markets shows clearly that world agriculture requires investments, public management policies and predictability.
“In the context of climate change and increasing food demand, it is crucial to valorize in a sustainable way all the diversity of agricultural potential in the E.U. It is also crucial to help other parts of the world, especially developing countries, to have their own and ambitious agricultural policies in order to increase global food security.”