European Union Cereal and Oilseed Crop Production Reduced Further

The European Commission has further reduced its outlook for European Union production of major cereal and oilseed crops this season, with maize seeing the sharpest reduction.

In a monthly supply and demand outlook, the Commission lowered its forecast for 2023/24 usable production of maize to 61.7 million tons from 63.0 million tons projected in July, though still well above last year's drought-hit harvest of 52.0 million tons.

Maize, mostly harvested in autumn, has suffered from drought and heatwaves in southern Europe this summer, though crops further north have benefited from rain that disrupted wheat harvesting.

The Commission cut its forecast for 2023/24 EU usable production of soft wheat, the bloc's main cereal crop, to 126.1 million metric tons from 126.4 million tons projected in July, still slightly above 2022/23 output of 125.7 million tons.

The EU barley production forecast for this season was trimmed by 0.1 million versus last month to 48.6 million tons, confirming a drop from 51.5 million tons in 2022/23.

For overall cereal production, the Commission said it had made the sharpest monthly revision for Romania, with a 3.2% reduction, followed by smaller cuts for France, Italy, Poland, Germany that offset increases for Spain and Hungary.


The Commission kept unchanged its projections for EU soft wheat exports and maize imports in 2023/24, at 32 million tons and 17 million tons respectively.

But it lowered its forecast for 2023/24 EU soft wheat stocks by 1.1 million tons to 16.3 million tons. That mostly reflected a cut to last season's stocks as the Commission revised upwards 2022/23 soft wheat exports to 32.6 million tons from 32 million previously.

In oilseeds, the Commission lowered its forecast of the EU's rapeseed harvest to 19.1 million tonss from 19.4 million a month earlier, while usable production of sunflower seeds was trimmed to 10.5 million tons from 10.6 million tons forecast last month.

EU rapeseed imports in 2023/24 were kept unchanged from last month at 5.8 million tons.