Europe's Grain Harvest May Fall 4% on Yield Drop, Farm-Weather Unit Says

The European Union grain harvest is estimated to fall 4 percent this year to 284.9 million metric tons as yields decline for all cereals except corn, the bloc’s farm-weather monitoring unit said.

Barley output may slide about 13 percent to 53.6 million tons, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit, or MARS, said in a report dated Oct. 12 and published on its website today. The wheat harvest is estimated at 136.8 million tons, the unit said, without saying how that compares with 2009.

Wheat production fell an estimated 3.3 percent in France, 5.5 percent in Germany and 4.2 percent in Poland, MARS said. This year’s wheat harvest is likely to be better than in 2009 for the U.K., Italy, Romania and Spain, it said.

For barley, all main producers face a decrease in production, other than Spain, Romania and Bulgaria, MARS said.

EU corn production is estimated to decline 1.4 percent to 57.1 million tons. Better yields are expected in Italy, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, the agricultural weather unit said, while in Germany yields are forecast to slide 13 percent to 8.5 tons a hectare (2.47 acres).

Soft-wheat yields are estimated to drop 3.1 percent to 5.57 tons a hectare, while durum productivity probably slipped 1.3 percent to 3.06 tons a hectare, MARS said. Corn yields probably climbed 2.9 percent to 7.06 tons a hectare.

Potato yields across the 27-nation EU are estimated at 27.50 tons a hectare, a decline of 8.4 percent, and farmers in the bloc will harvest an estimated average 65.3 tons of sugar beets a hectare, down 8.3 percent.

Yield forecasts (tons per hectare):
                                  5-year   %change   %change
                    2010e   2009  average  yr-on-yr  5yr avg
Cereals             5.00    5.08    4.88       -1.4      2.5
Wheat               5.29    5.46    5.24       -3.1      0.9
   Soft wheat       5.57    5.74    5.54       -3.1      0.5
   Durum            3.06    3.10    2.99       -1.3      2.3
Barley              4.34    4.43    4.24       -2.1      2.4
   Spring barley    3.73    3.82    3.68       -2.3      1.4
   Winter barley    5.22    5.31    5.09       -1.7      2.5
Grain maize         7.06    6.86    6.70        2.9      5.4
Other cereals       3.52    3.59    3.36       -1.8      2.3

Potato             27.50   30.00   28.20       -8.4     -2.5
Sugar beet         65.30   71.20   64.20       -8.3      1.7
Sunflower           1.90    1.80    1.70        7.8     11.8
Rapeseed            2.90    3.30    3.10      -10.6     -4.2

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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