Europe cereal crop harvest drops just 2.2%
The drought experienced in some parts of the world is unlikely to impact heavily on Europe's crop harvests, the European Commission said Friday in its production forecast for 2012-2013.
In contrast to the United States, which has slashed production estimates after suffering record temperatures in July, European production for this season is expected to be 278.6 million tonnes, down just 2.2 percent on last year's figure.
Harvests are expected to yield 127 million tonnes of soft wheat, a figure that is comparable to the past five years, the Commission said.
Corn production is forecast to be 60 million tonnes, a drop of 11 percent on last year, but remaining slightly higher than the average since 2007.
Although drought has also affected some parts of Europe, the region is still set to produce 25 million tonnes more than it did in 2007-2008—a particularly poor season which lead to a deficit of eight million tonnes.
Current balance sheet figures show Europe will be a net exporter, with around 10 million tonnes to export, according to the Commission.
Globally wheat, corn and soybean prices are expected to remain high, and volatile, due to curtailed production in the United States, whose farm belt was hit in July by the most stifling drought since the 1950s.
The Commission also revised downwards a forecast of world grains production made last month.
According to Dacian Ciolos, the European Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, drought nevertheless risks "destabilising certain sectors of European agriculture."
(c) 2012 AFP