For cereals, the EU usable production in 2011/2012 is expected to remain largely unchanged at around 275 mio t* as an area decrease by 1.1% is met by an increase of 1.0% in yields. In consequence, cereal markets tend to remain relatively tight in the EU and a further reduction in stocks can be expected. Oilseeds continue to gain share in EU arable land use but growing conditions are expected to curb usable production by 2.2% to about 28 mio t.
Latest reports forecast a mixed picture on world and European economies over the outlook period with a steady, albeit fragile growth in GDP, a slow reduction in the unemployment rate, an increase in population as well as a moderate inflation and higher oil prices.
The marketing year 2010/2011 led to a sharp reduction in EU cereal stocks by 17 mio t, caused by a lower usable production of 275.2 mio t and considerable net exports of 18.5 mio t. Combined with tight world supplies this supported higher cereal prices. EU usable cereal production in 2011/2012 is expected to remain largely unchanged at 274.8 mio t as an area decrease by 1.1% is met by an increase of 1.0% in yields. In consequence, cereal markets tend to remain tight in the EU and a further reduction in stocks can be expected. Oilseeds continue to gain share in EU arable land use but growing conditions are expected to curb usable production by 2.2% to 28.1 mio t.
The area cultivated under cereals in 2010/2011 has reached 56.2 mio ha, another decrease by 3.9% in comparison with 2009/2010. Average yields of 5.0 t/ha led to a production volume estimated at almost 277.8 mio t.
Given cereal imports of 13.3 mio t, the level of cereal availabilities – taking into account carry-over of stocks – would be at 343.0 mio t. Domestic demand would amount to 271.9 mio t, with animal feed at a reduced 167.5 mio t and bioethanol utilisation at 9.1 mio t. Total cereal exports are projected at 31.8 mio t. On the basis of these estimates, total cereal ending stocks would decrease by 17.3 mio t to 37.1 mio t.For the 2011 harvest, weather conditions resulted in reduced autumn plantings in the North and increased winter kill compared with the previous years. Conditions in the Mediterranean region have been favourable, whereas warmer and dryer weather for April and May curbed the production potential in core cereal regions.
Improved weather conditions allowed for maintenance of average yields, whereas wet harvesting conditions heavily impacted on yields and quality around the Baltic Sea. The area cultivated under cereals is forecast to decrease by a further 1.1% in comparison with 2010/2011 to reach 55.6 mio ha. The area under soft wheat is projected at an unchanged 23.1 mio ha and the maize area increase by 6.8% to 8.7 mio ha. This area combined with yield estimates would lead to a harvested cereal production of about 277.4 mio t.
EU exports are expected to decrease considerably to 21.8 mio t. Total domestic use is expected to be slightly curbed due to the prevailing high prices by 0.6 mio t to 271.3 mio t, of which 166.6 mio t for animal feed and 9.1 mio t for the production of bioethanol. On the basis of these forecasts, ending stocks would decrease by 6.5 mio t to reach 30.6 mio t, with no remaining intervention stocks.
EU oilseed areas have reached 11.0 mio ha in 2010/2011, another 0.2 mio ha higher than the previous high in 2009/2010. Total oilseed production would stand at 28.7 mio t, down by 2.1% from the record harvest in 2009/2010. Protein crop production increased by 1.9% to 2.9 mio t. EU-27 oilseed area 2011/2012 is forecast at 11.4 mio ha (+3.4%). Total oilseed production would reach 28.1 mio t (-2.2%). Protein crop production would decline by 1.6% to 2.8 mio t.
*mio. t= million tons