May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Soft wheat and rapeseed yields in the European Union may be smaller than previously expected because of declining crop prospects in the U.K. and some eastern countries, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said.
Soft wheat yields may be 5.54 metric tons a hectare (2.47 acres) this year, down from last month’s estimate at 5.63 tons a hectare, the agency said today in a report on its website. Yields will be larger than the 5.41 tons a hectare harvested a year earlier. Rapeseed yields in the 27 countries of the EU may be 3.06 tons a hectare, down from last month’s forecast at 3.09 tons a hectare and below the 2012 harvest at 3.1 tons a hectare.
“The current prospects for EU-27 yields remained close to the average,” MARS said. “Compared to our last forecasts, soft wheat has been slightly revised downwards at the EU-27 level, mainly due to lowered yield expectations for the U.K. and Ireland, as well as for the Baltic countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark.”
Crop maturity in the U.K. and Ireland is as much as three weeks behind normal after fields received above-average rain, MARS said. Late-planted winter crops in those countries “have limited yield potential” and some fields have been abandoned or replanted with spring crops, according to the report. Crop development has accelerated in France and Germany as weather warmed.
Dry conditions in Ukraine mean wheat yields may be 2.84 tons a hectare, less than previously expected, MARS said. Winter wheat is “considerably advanced” in southern Ukraine, with crops entering the flowering phase, while development is delayed in western and northern provinces, according to the report.
Corn yields in the EU may be 6.87 tons a hectare, up from 5.91 tons a hectare last year, MARS said. Total barley yields may be 4.56 tons a hectare, higher than previously estimated, primarily because of improved prospects for crops in Spain.
Sugar beet sowings were delayed by as many as three weeks in most major producing countries in Europe due to low temperatures in northern regions and wet weather in the south, MARS said. Yields are forecast to be 70.83 tons a hectare, compared with 70.28 tons a hectare in 2012.
Eastern and northern Europe may see warmer-than-normal weather through May 25, and maximum temperatures in southwest Russia may top 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), MARS said. Western Europe, including the western Mediterranean, will see below-normal temperatures, and higher-than average rainfall may occur in that region and central Europe.
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