Copa-Cogeca releases new EU grain harvest forecast showing production drop and urges EU to ensure future CAP boosts productivity to meet growing demand.

Copa-Cogeca released new EU grain harvest estimates today revealing a 1% production drop in this years EU cereals harvest. In the wake of growing world wheat demand, a tight EU market situation and uncertain climatic conditions, Copa-Cogeca urges the EU Commission to ensure that the new CAP post-2013 boosts productivity.

Ian Backhouse, Chairman of Copa-Cogeca Cereals Working Party said “The figures for 2011/12 show a 1% decrease in production, compared to last year, reaching 272 million tonnes. Sharper declines of 3.5% and 4.4% are seen in EU wheat and barley production whilst maize production estimates are good. But in view of the drought this year which has affected large parts of the EU, the estimates are still very uncertain. Production costs, especially fertiliser prices, have skyrocketed and are squeezing producers hard. Grain stocks are low and the market situation is expected to remain tight. Cereal stocks are predicted to remain under pressure and the market will stay volatile, driven by the Russian and Ukraine harvests”.

In the view of the tight situation, extreme volatility and growing world wheat demand forecast by the OECD, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen insisted “The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2013 must take this on board. EU measures to manage the market must be maintained and improved under the future CAP in order to boost productivity and ensure food security. In addition, direct payments to farmers must continue under the future CAP to help farmers deal with this volatility and uncertain climatic conditions. We are also concerned about the proposed Commission measures to further green the CAP, which threaten productivity, and insist on the need for green growth, rather than green constraints”.

Source: Copa-Cogeca Press Release 01/07/2011