Heavy Rain over a prairie in Brittany France
Rains missed the northeastern part of France causing an estimate reduction in yield prospects.
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock. 
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — COCERAL revised down its E.U. 2017-18 grain crop forecast to 297.6 million tonnes from the March forecast of 304.4 million tonnes. The new forecast is only slightly higher than last year’s crop of 296.4 million tonnes.

The wheat crop is now forecast at 141.9 million tonnes and thus almost 3 million tonnes below the previous projection of 144.8 million tonnes. However, in comparison to last year this would still be a sharp increase by 7 million tonnes.

The E.U.’s barley crop forecast has been lowered from 59.5 million tonnes to 57.2 million tonnes, which would be the lowest crop since 2012. The main reason for the downward revision of the E.U.’s crop are the recent heat and drought in Spain, which have significantly reduced yield potential there, COCERAL said. On top, there was a reduction in the French crop where rains had missed the northeastern part of the country so that yield prospects are seen a bit lower there, too. The most affected crop should be spring barley. In the central and eastern parts of the E.U., conditions are mostly good. As a result, the Polish crop forecast has been revised up.

The 2017 corn crop is now in the ground. The production forecast now stands at 60 million tonnes, which is below the previous projection of 61 million tonnes and also lower than last year’s level of 60.8 million tonnes. The reason for the downward revision is mainly a significantly lower than previously expected area in Germany. If the corn crop comes in at around the projected level it would be the third corn crop in a row with disappointing results on an E.U. level, COCERAL said.

According to COCERAL, weather over the next two months will still be vital for the yield and substantial changes to the European forecasts are still possible.