EU grain trade union decreases 2018 harvest forecast

The EU total grain crop forecast for 2018 has been revised down by almost 2m tonnes by European grain body COCERAL.

The forecast, announced on Tuesday (4 December), has been reduced from its September figure of 283.5m tonnes to 281.7m tonnes.

In comparison, farmers harvested 300.2m tonnes of grains in 2017.

See also: Gradual fall in wheat price forecast for 2019

Both the wheat crop and the barley production forecast have been revised down.

The wheat crop was reduced from 129.9m tonnes to 128.6m tonnes, lower than the 141.9m tonnes reached in 2017.

Reductions have been mainly made for Scandinavia.

Reductions were also mainly seen in Scandinavia for the EU’s barley production, which is now forecast at 56.0m tonnes, down from 57.4m tonnes.

The 2017 crop stood at 58.3m tonnes.

In contrast, the EU’s corn crop projection was increased from 58.9m tonnes to 60.5m tonnes, with further upward revisions in the Balkan countries.

However, this is still less than last year’s production figure, which reached 60.7m tonnes.

The rapeseed production forecast for 2018 for the EU was almost unchanged at 19.4m tonnes (previously 19.5m tonnes), though down on last year’s 21.9m tonnes.

Current values

Grain prices collected by Farmers Weekly on Wednesday (5 December) showed average spot ex-farm values at £174.63/t for milling wheat, £165.53/t for feed wheat, and £162/t for feed barley.

The price for milling wheat ranged from £167/t in Lincolnshire and Peterborough to £180/t in Shropshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire.

Feed wheat prices ranged from £163/t to £169/t across the regions, and feed barley ranged from £156/t to £168/t.

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