Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Europe's Wheat Crop Seen Falling From Record as Yields Decline

  • Harvest to fall 3.4% to 154.9 million tons: Bloomberg survey
  • Production expected to be lower in France, Germany, U.K.

The European Union’s wheat harvest will probably fall from last year’s record as yields return to more normal levels in the bloc’s biggest producing countries.

Total output of wheat, including durum, will drop 3.4 percent to 154.9 million metric tons this year, according to the average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Respondents expect smaller crops in France, Germany and the U.K., after favorable weather last year boosted plant yields.

“There will probably be slightly less-good yields everywhere,” said Alexandre Boy, an analyst at Paris-based farm adviser Agritel. Still, “if we look at the main producers in Europe, there are no problems anywhere, so if things continue to be perfect, production could be higher.”

A smaller crop may bring some relief to prices that are trading near the lowest since 2010 in Paris following bumper harvests. The United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization earlier this month reduced its outlook for global production by 10 million tons because of declining potential for crops in Russia and Ukraine. The FAO sees world output at 712.7 million tons, about 3 percent smaller than the prior year’s harvest.

EU Output

The EU’s production of soft wheat may fall to 145.8 million tons, according to the Bloomberg survey. That would be down from European Commission’s estimate for last year’s harvest at a record of more than 151 million tons. Analysts in the survey expect the EU’s durum crop to total 8.7 million tons for 2016.

Farmers in France may harvest 41.1 million tons of wheat, down 3.9 percent from last year, the survey showed. Milling-wheat futures tumbled 18 percent in the past year on Euronext in Paris as last year’s record French harvest added to a worldwide glut of grain.

For more estimates in the survey:

  • France’s soft-wheat harvest seen falling 3.9 percent to 39.4 million tons, while country’s durum production will increase 5.2 percent to 1.9 million tons.
  • German wheat output expected to slip 1.8 percent to 26 million tons.
  • U.K. wheat harvest predicted to decline 5.8 percent to 15.3 million tons.
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