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EU Crop Monitor Trims Yield Estimates, Warns Of Wheat Quality Damage

By Reuters
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EU Crop Monitor Trims Yield Estimates, Warns Of Wheat Quality Damage

The European Union's crop monitoring service has reduced its forecast for this year's average EU soft wheat, maize and rapeseed yields for a third consecutive month, and warned of a significant fall in wheat quality after summer rains.

Almost daily precipitation since mid-July in the large grain regions of north-western France, the Benelux and south-western Germany seriously hampered the harvesting of the remaining winter crops, particularly wheat and rapeseed, while creating optimal conditions for fungal diseases, it said in a report.

Rain around harvesting is expected to have lead to 'substantial impacts on grain quality, particularly of wheat' and will lead to a 'significant decrease' of the amount of wheat of milling quality produced in these areas, MARS said.

Impacts on crops were difficult to assess at this stage and its forecasts were based on the assumption of minor impacts from rain on yields at national level, it said.

Hot weather in southern Europe was raising concern for summer crops, mainly in Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.

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Outlook

In its monthly outlook, the MARS service cut its soft wheat yield estimate to 5.78 metric tonnes per hectare (t/ha) from 5.80 t/ha projected last month, now just below last year's 5.79 t/ha.

It also lowered its grain maize yield forecast to 7.45 t/ha from 7.53 t/ha forecast in July, up 26% from last year's drought-hit harvest but in line with the five-year average.

It left its 2023 all-barley yield estimate unchanged at 4.74 t/ha, now 6% below 2022, as a fall in its spring barley yield estimate was compensated by a rise in the winter barley one.

For oilseeds, MARS trimmed its yield forecast for this year's rapeseed harvest to 3.19 t/ha, from 3.20 t/ha expected in July and 3.33 t/ha in 2022, while it raised its yield outlook for the later-harvested sunflower seed crop, to 2.18 t/ha from 2.12 t/ha last month and 1.87 t/ha last year.

For sugar beet, MARS slightly raised its yield forecast to 73.7 t/ha, up from 73.3 t/ha projected last month and now 2% above the five-year average.

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