17 July 1998
Poor Portuguese weather devastates cereal crop
WET weather in Portugal has ruined this years cereal crop, making it the worst production in 100 years.
The Confederation of Portuguese Farmers said this would boost the need for imports. It expected wheat output to stand at just 50,000 tonnes in 1998, below the annual average of 394,000 tonnes from 1991-95.
The devastation contrasts with large harvests in Britain, Spain and France.
Now Portugal expects to produce just 20,000 tonnes of barley in 1998 compared with an average of 70,000 tonnes a year from 1991-95.
However, the countrys main maize growing region, Ribatejo, has benefited from the wet conditions. Jose Manuel Casqueiro, confederation secretary general, has forecast a domestic maize crop of 400,000-450,000 tonnes this year. Portugal requires about 770,000 tonnes of maize to satisfy local consumption, according to grain traders.
- Financial Times 17/07/98 page 29