Strategie Grains Still Sees Lower EU Wheat Crop Despite Spain Boost

By Reuters
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Strategie Grains Still Sees Lower EU Wheat Crop Despite Spain Boost

Strategie Grains has edged up its forecast for the European Union's 2024 soft wheat harvest reflecting favourable conditions in Spain, but output was still expected to fall sharply from last year due to heavy rain elsewhere, it said.

Why It's Important

Harvest prospects in the EU are among supply risks being monitored by traders as Northern Hemisphere crops enter the sensitive spring growing season. Consultancy Strategie Grains' EU forecasts are widely followed in the grain market.

The EU is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat and importers of maize.

A smaller EU wheat crop could curb its exports and reinforce Russia's position as the world's largest wheat supplier.

The size of the next EU grain harvest will also influence demand for cheaper Ukrainian grain, imports that have fuelled protests by EU farmers.


Key Quote

'Excessively wet weather in France since planting time is a major cause for concern, while Bulgaria and Romania are suffering some rainfall deficits. Growing conditions have been good so far in Spain, but the harvests are still a long way off and yield potentials thus still at risk,' Strategie Grains said in a monthly cereal report.

By The Numbers

Strategie Grains said it now expects EU soft wheat production of 121.8 million metric tonnes in the 2024/25 season, up from 121.6 million forecast in March but still more than 3% lower than last year.

For barley, it increased its forecast for the next EU harvest by 0.7 million tonnes to 52.5 million tonnes, now 10.5% higher than last year's drought-hit crop.

This year's EU maize crop was projected at 63.4 million tonnes, down about 1 million tonnes from the March forecast though nearly 3% above last year's level.



In addition to soggy crop conditions in northwest Europe, part of the east of the region is experiencing dryness.

Rain disruption to wheat and barley planting is expected to lead some farmers to plant more maize, though unattractive maize prices may encourage others to try different crops this spring.

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