The European Commission cut its forecast for 2017-18 corn crop in the European Union by nearly four million tonnes to a five-year low, while raising projected imports of the grain to a record level.
Usable production of corn was put at 58.4 million tonnes, compared with 62.1 million estimated a month ago, below last year’s 61.1 million tonnes and the weakest level since 2012-13, supply-and-demand data issued by the Commission on last Friday showed.
The Commission’s crop monitoring service this week reduced sharply its yield outlook for EU corn, citing the impact of heatwaves and low rainfall in the southeast of the 28-country bloc, which includes large corn producers such as Hungary and Romania.
In its supply and demand projections, the Commission increased its forecast of EU corn imports to 15.3 million from 12.3 million, well above last season’s 12.9 million and slightly exceeding a current record of 15.1 million from 2007-08.
Projected EU production of common wheat in 2017-18 was reduced slightly to 138.6 million tonnes from 138.9 million a month earlier, still above last year’s volume of 134 million.
Estimated EU barley output was raised by 500,000 tonnes to 57.5 million tonnes, while canola production was trimmed to 21.6 million tonnes from 21.7 million, the Commission’s data showed.