Consultant Strategie Grains has further increased its monthly production forecasts for all three major cereals in the European Union in the current 2021-22 season, which it said will help the bloc to meet higher projected demand on the global market.
However, the consultancy also echoed mounting concerns over the potential impact on grain quality from recent wet weather in southeastern and western areas of the EU.
The consultancy forecast that the 27-country bloc would harvest 133.0 million tonnes of soft wheat in 2021, up from 131.1 million projected in June and more than 14 million tonnes above last year’s crop.
The estimate was also well above the average of 10 forecasts in a Reuters poll that pegged the harvest at 130.4 million tonnes.
For barley, Strategie Grains raised its 2021 crop forecast to 55.0 million tonnes from 53.9 million, still slightly below last year’s output of 55.4 million tonnes.
“The wheat and barley harvests are arriving late this year but yields are expected (to be) good, with exceptions in a few places in Central Europe,” Strategie Grains said in a report.
The hefty wheat and barley crops, along with larger expected international demand, would benefit EU shipments this season, it said.
Strategie Grains now expects EU soft wheat exports this season at 31.0 million tonnes, up from 28.6 million tonnes forecast last month and 26.9 million tonnes in 2020-21.
Barley exports were seen at 7.2 million tonnes, up from last month’s projection of 6.7 million tonnes and close to last season’s 7.3 million tonnes.
A cut in expected production in North America and the Middle East and Turkey means that the EU will need to mobilize its entire exportable supplies to meet global demand, Strategie Grains said, even with Russia potentially selling more than 40 million tonnes.
Chinese import demand is expected to remain high in 2021-22, though slightly lower than last season, which should support French exports, it said.
Strategie Grains also lifted its estimate for the bloc’s maize crop, usually harvested in the autumn. The crop is now seen at 65.7 million tonnes, up from 65.3 million tonnes.