Cereals: satisfactory forecasts for EU harvest
The European Commission presented its forecasts on cereals to EU Member States in the Management Committee of 30 August.
The main conclusions arising from the presentations were as follows:
- At European level, despite the drought in certain Member States, current forecasts for agricultural products are at 279 million tonnes of cereals. This is 2% lower than the average over the past five years, but is still 25 million tonnes above figures for 2007/08, which proved to be a particularly bad year.
- As regards soft wheat, current forecast is at 127 million tonnes, which is a status quo compared to the average over the past five years.
- As regards maize, current forecast is at 60 million tonnes, which is 2% higher than the average over the past five years. Current balance sheet shows a net exporter situation (around 10 million tonnes), instead of a net importer situation for 2007/08 (around 8 million tonnes).
- At world level, due to the drought in the United States, the forecast of world grains production in 2012/13 is reduced compared to last month.
- Supported by tightening world supplies, maize prices remained close to record highs during August.
- World carryover stocks are forecast to contract by 33 million tonnes to 338 million tonnes. The current stocks/consumption world ratio remains at a level comparable to 2011. It only decreased from 20% to 19%. This is likely to keep prices at high levels with a high level of volatility.
Commenting these forecasts, Dacian Cioloş, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development said:
"The recent developments on the agricultural and food markets have demonstrated once again the need for a strong CAP.
Over the past weeks, the drought in several regions of the world has led to dramatic price increases for certain commodities, mainly maize and soya which risk destabilising certain sectors of the European agriculture. This excessive volatility of markets shows clearly that world agriculture requires investments, public management policies and predictability.
In the context of climate change and increasing food demand, it is crucial to valorise in a sustainable way all the diversity of agricultural potential in the EU. It is also crucial to help other parts of the world, especially developing countries, to have their own and ambitious agricultural policies in order to increase global food security".