Strategy of grains lowers crop forecast for wheat in the EU

The private agricultural consultant strategy of grains has lowered its forecast of the soft wheat harvest 2017 in the European Union to 1.2 million tons to 143.8 million tons. The reason is mainly the strong frost in January.
The reduced forecast is so 6% above the forecast of the wheat harvest of last year of 135.9 million tonnes, as unfavorable weather conditions in France, the biggest Weizenproduzenden of the EU, resulted in a very poor harvest, so strategy of grains.
The analysts of the company reduced the forecast of wheat production in Hungary, the Czech Republic, of Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania due to the freezing temperatures of a total 1 million tons because Dewinterizing damage and lower yields are expected. Hungary could be therefore most affected, because the stocks in many regions only by a very thin to no snow at all be protected from Frost.
The frosty temperatures in Central Europe including France and Germany could cause more damage. Grain traders assess the risk however as limited, because the healthy developed stocks in many cases through a protective snow cover are protected.
Low soil moisture content in France and Spain is seen as another risk, but rainfall could populate recovers sufficiently the groundwater reserves in the spring.
The expected increase in EU wheat production this year, as well as the expected better quality of the harvest in France, 2017/18 on 26.5 million tonnes could allow an increase of EU soft wheat exports versus the currently expected 23 million tons in the current marketing year 2016/17. Last month, the company was expecting with an export volume 2016/17 of 23.4 million tonnes.
Also in the winter barley are expected losses due to the freezing temperatures. However, these can be overcompensated by a larger area of sowing the company. Currently, grains strategy anticipates a barley crop of 61.2 million tons (+ 200,000 tons). That would be an increase of 2% to the previous year.
The forecast of the EU maize harvest is higher. It is 61.3 million tonnes and would be thus to 400,000 tonnes higher, because it expects an expansion of acreage.
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