European soft wheat production forecast at 134.5 million tonnes

Updated forecast by trade association Cocereal pegs 2024 wheat crop slightly higher than previous projections

In its third forecast for the 2024 crop, trade association Coceral pegged the total grain crop in the EU27 (the EU’s 27 members) and the UK at 296 million tonnes, slightly above the previous forecast of 295.5 million tonnes and up from the 292.8 million tonnes harvested in 2023.

Wheat production (excluding durum) is expected at 134.5 million tonnes, compared with 134.1 million tonnes in the March forecast and down from 139.9 million tonnes harvested last year.

Record rainfall in the fourth quarter of 2023 had a major negative effect on winter wheat and barley sowing in France, Germany, the UK, the Baltic states and Poland.

The French wheat crop forecast was revised downward by around 5 million tonnes to 30.35 million tonnes in 2024, versus 35 million tonnes harvested in 2023, while Germany’s crop for 2024 is forecast at 20.25 million tonnes, down from the 21.3 million tonnes produced in 2023.

Romania and Bulgaria are also forecast to have slightly lower wheat crops, of 10 million tonnes and 6.1 million tonnes respectively, but local Romanian traders estimated the country’s crop to be closer to 11 million tonnes for the 2024 marketing year.

Spain’s wheat harvest for 2024 is forecast at 6.65 million tonnes, up by 108% from the 2023 harvest of 3.2 million tonnes.

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Other grains and oilseeds production

Coceral has forecast 2024 barley production in the EU27 and the UK at 59.9 million tonnes, down by 1.3 million tonnes from 61.2 million tonnes in the previous forecast but up from the 54.4 million tonnes harvested in 2023.

Total French barley to be harvested in 2024 is forecast at 11 million tonnes versus 12.34 million tonnes in 2023, while the total German barley crop is forecast at 11.2 million tonnes, up slightly from 11.06 million tonnes in 2023.

The preliminary EU27 and UK corn crop is forecast at 64.8 million tonnes, up from 64.3 million tonnes forecast in March and up by 1 million tonnes from the 2023 harvest of 63.8 million tonnes.

The French corn harvest for 2024 is forecast at 13.07 million tonnes, up from 12.9 million tonnes harvested in 2023, while German corn is forecast at 4.36 million tonnes, up from 4.29 million tonnes in 2023.

Coceral has forecast Romania’s corn crop to increase by 102,000 tonnes to 11.13 million tonnes from 11.01 million tonnes produced in 2023, with Bulgaria’s crop pegged to increase to 3.25 million tonnes from 2.31 million tonnes in 2023.

The 2024 rapeseed forecast for the EU27 and the UK was lowered to 19.4 million tonnes from 20.2 million tonnes in the previous forecast.

The 2024 rapeseed production forecast is 9.3% lower than the 21.4 million tonnes harvested in 2023.

The EU27’s sunseed production in 2024 was forecast at 10.48 million tonnes, up by 0.5% from 10.5 million tonnes in 2023.

Soybean production in the region was estimated at 3.2 million tonnes, up by 6.6% year on year from 3.0 million tonnes.

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