Paris, FR (Reuters) — The European Commission on Thursday (June 24) trimmed its forecast of usable production of common wheat in European Union’s 27 member countries in 2021/22 to 125.8 million tonnes from 126.2 million estimated last month.
The reduced forecast was nonetheless 7% above the 2020/21 crop of 117.2 million tonnes, the Commission’s monthly supply and demand data showed.
The EU is widely expected to produce more wheat this year as farmers were able to expand the planted area after rain-disrupted sowing the previous season and with late-spring weather helping crop growth.
The Commission kept unchanged its outlook for EU exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, in 2021/22 at 30.0 million tonnes.
That compared with an expected 27.0 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season that ends on June 30.
However, other demand factors were revised up, with projected wheat use in biofuel and livestock feed increased by 300,000 tonnes each to 3.4 million and 41.3 million tonnes, respectively.
The reduced harvest outlook and upward demand adjustments outweighed a 200,000-tonne rise in expected imports, now seen at 2.7 million tonnes, and led the Commission to cut its 2021/22 common wheat stocks forecast to 10.1 million tonnes from 10.8 million in May.
Projected stocks next season were still up sharply from an expected 8.8 million tonnes at the end of 2020/21.
For barley, the Commission reduced by 1 million tonnes its 2021/22 usable production forecast to 53.5 million tonnes.
Projected barley stocks next season were lowered to 6.1 million tonnes from 6.8 million last month, reflecting the downward revision to production.
The 2020/21 crop was estimated at 54.7 million tonnes against 54.8 million last month.
Usable production of maize in 2021/22 was estimated at 70.6 million tonnes, down 400,000 tonnes from the May forecast.
Projected EU maize imports for 2020/21 and 2021/22 were unchanged from last month at 15 million tonnes for both seasons.
In oilseeds, the Commission kept its 2021/22 rapeseed production estimate at 16.7 million tonnes, but raised forecast imports by 400,000 tonnes to 6.2 million, equaling the level expected this season.