Agricultural production - crops


Data extracted in October 2016. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database Planned article update: November 2017.

This article is part of a set of statistical articles based on the Eurostat Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics. The term ‘crop’ covers a very broad range of cultivated plants. Within each type of crop there can also be considerable diversity in terms of genetic and phenotypic (physical or biochemical) characteristics. The range and variety of crops grown across the European Union (EU) reflects their heritable traits as well as the ability of plant breeders to harness those traits to best respond to the myriad of topographic and climatic conditions, pests and diseases.

The statistics on crop production in this article are shown at an aggregated level and have been selected from over 100 different crop products for which official statistics are collected.

Figure 1: Production of cereals, EU, 2007–15
(Million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Table 1: Production of cereals, 2015
(1 000 tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 2: Share of main types of cereals, EU-28, 2015
(% of EU-28 total production)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 3: Production of cereals by main types, EU-28, 2007–15
(Million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 4: Production of cereals by main producing EU Member States, 2015
(% of EU-28 total)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 5: Production of sugar beet by main producing EU Member States, 2007–15
(Million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 6: Production of rape and turnip rape seed, sunflower seeds and soya, EU-28, 2007–15
(Million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Table 2: Production of fruit and vegetables, 2015
(1 000 tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 7: Production of grapes for wine use, 2015
(% of EU-28 total harvested production)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 8: Production of olives for olive oil, 2015
(% of EU-28 total)
Source: Eurostat (apro_acs_a)
Figure 9: Deflated price indices for selected crop outputs, EU-28, 2010–15
(2010 = 100)
Source: Eurostat (apri_pi10_outa) and (apri_pi10_ina)
Table 3: Selling prices of crop products, 2015
(EUR per 100 kg)
Source: Eurostat (apri_ap_crpouta)

Main statistical findings

The development of summer crops has been conditioned by a combination of heat waves and severe droughts in large areas of southern, central and eastern Europe, and surplus rainfall and colder-than-seasonal weather in northern Europe.

Cereals

In 2015, the harvest of cereals in the EU decreased by about 4 % compared to the previous year, explained by unfavourable climatic conditions.

The harvested production of cereals (including rice) in the EU-28 was around 317 million tonnes in 2015. This represented about 12.5 % of global cereal production [1]. EU-28 production of cereals in 2015 was about 15.1 million tonnes lower than in 2014 (see Figure 1).

Common wheat and spelt, barley, grain maize and corn-cob-mix (CCM) accounted for a high share (86 % in 2015) of the cereals produced in the EU-28 (see Figure 2). Compared to the 5-year average level, EU-28 cereal production increased by 5.7 %. An increase was recorded for common wheat and spelt (13.8%), and barley (10,3%), while grain maize and CCM production decreased by about 11.2% (-23,1 % compared with 2014). This was mainly due to one of the warmest summers ever recorded in south-eastern Europe. Rye and winter cereal mixtures production stood 7.1 % below 5-year average. The production of oats decreased by 3.8 % (see Figure 3).

France accounted for more than one fifth (22.9 %) of the EU-28 cereal production in 2015. Germany (15.4 %) and Poland (8.8 %) together contributed to a quarter of the EU total. The United Kingdom was the next largest cereal producer, accounting for 7.8 % of the EU-28 total. Among the EU Member States, France was the largest producer of common wheat, barley and grain maize, and CCM, in 2015 (see Figure 4).

In 2015, the relatively good cereal harvest, combined with sufficient stocks and a general negative trend in the common market, led to a decrease in the price of cereals [2]. This went down by 3.3% compared to 2014 and by 14.1% if compared to the average of the previous 5 years (see Figure 9).

The median of soft wheat prices for 23 countries providing the data was 15.84 EUR/100 kg (see Table 3).

Sugar beet

The EU is the world’s leading producer of sugar beet, with around 50 % of the global production [3].

The EU sugar market is regulated by production quotas, a minimum beet price and trade mechanisms [4].

The exceptional harvest in 2014 (13 % above the 5-year average) led to almost 3 million tonnes of out-of-quota sugar being carried forward to 2015, to be counted as quota sugar in the following season. This meant that about 22 % of the quota sugar for 2015 de facto had been produced before the season started. This led to a strong incentive for sugar producers to reduce sugar output significantly in 2015.

A combination of a reduction in sown area and unfavourable summer conditions led to a 22 % reduction in sugar beet production compared to 2014, which was 12 % below the 5-year average.

In 2015, the EU-28 produced 101.9 million tonnes of sugar beet — 29.2 million tonnes less than in 2015 (see Figure 5). More than half of the EU-28 sugar beet production in 2015 came from France (32.9 %) and Germany (22.2 %) combined, Poland (9.2 %) and the United Kingdom (6.1 %) being the next largest producers.

Oilseeds

The change in policy support (Voluntary Coupled Support and Ecological Focus Area eligibility [5]), as well as premium prices for non-genetically modified soya kept the overall oilseed production largely stable in the EU in 2015 [6] (3.5% above the 5-year average).

Due to a significant area increase, which was up 54 % compared with 2014, soybean production increased by 27 % compared to 2014.

By contrast, rape and turnip rape seeds production declined sharply in the EU (-10.1 % compared with 2014), as did sunflower seed production (-14.8 %). Especially for sunflower seed, 2015 was a worse-than-average year, with production down 5.5 % compared to the 5-year average, mainly driven by strong drought-related yield decreases in the main producing Member States (Bulgaria, Romania, France and Spain). Hungary, another important producer, witnessed a slightly smaller decrease (-2.5%).

In 2015, France (24.5 %) and Germany (23.1 %) produced almost half of the rape and turnip rape in the EU-28.

Bulgaria and Romania continued to be the leading producers of sunflower in 2015, with shares of 22.6 % and 21.5 %, respectively (see Figure 6).

Vegetables

The EU supports the fruits and vegetables through the Common Market Organisation for Fruit and Vegetable (CMO). This policy has four main goals:

(1) a more competitive and market-oriented sector;
(2) less crisis-related instabilities in producers' income;
(3) more consumption of fruit and vegetables in the EU; and
(4) increased use of eco-compatible cultivation and production techniques.

The vegetable sector is a key sector in EU agriculture, weighting 13.6  % of EU agricultural output.

Netherlands (17.8 %), Spain (16.7 %) and Italy (16.5 %) were the most important producers, in terms of economic value, accounting for over 50 % of vegetable output in 2015.

Tomatoes, carrots and onions were the most important vegetables in 2015. The EU-28 produced an estimated 17.6 million tonnes of tomatoes in 2015, of which approximately two thirds came from Italy and Spain (11.2 million tonnes).The EU-28 also produced an estimated 5.1 million tonnes of carrots and 6.1 million tonnes of onions in 2015 (see Table 2). Carrot production was relatively high in Poland and the United Kingdom — together these two countries accounted for over a quarter (14.4 % and 13.3 % respectively) of EU-28 output in 2015. The production of carrots in these two EU Member States remained relatively stable during the 2000–2015 period, at around 0.7–0.8 million tonnes. The Netherlands and Spain were the EU’s main onion producing Member States, together accounting for 45.0 % of EU-28 output in 2015.

The price index of fresh vegetables increased by 6.8 % compared to 2014, and by 2.1 % if compared to the average of the previous 5 years (see Figure 8). The median price for tomatoes [7] was € 60.74 per 100 kg (see Table 3).

Fruit

The fruit sector is another key element in EU agriculture, weighting 6.7 % of EU agricultural output. Spain (16.5 %), Italy (9.2 %) and France (5.6 %) were the most important producers, in terms of economic value, accounting for over 60 % of fruit output in 2015.

The EU fruit sector offers a large number of different products. The most important fruits, in terms of the volume of harvested products, are apples (12.7 million tons), oranges (6 million tons) and peaches (2.5 million tons).

Apples are produced in almost all EU Member States, although Poland (25%), Italy (19.2%) and France (15.5%) are, by far, the largest producers. Orange production in the EU is much more restricted by climatic conditions; the vast majority of oranges (80 %) are produced in Spain (52%) and Italy (28%).

In 2015, the price index for fruits increased by 7.1% compared to 2014 and 3.8% if compared to the period 2010-2014 (see Figure 9). The median price of dessert apples [8] was about € 44.15 per 100 kg (see Table 3).

Grapes

The EU is the world's leading producer of wine, with almost half of the global vine-growing area and approximately 65% of production by volume [9].

Since the introduction of the common market organisation (CMO), the wine market has developed considerably.

As far as the wine sector is concerned, the 2013 CAP reform, in addition to its general goals to harmonise, streamline and simplify the provisions of the CAP, maintains the fundamentals of the 2008 wine reform but replaces the EU planting rights regime by a scheme of authorisations for vine planting from 1 January 2016, enabling competitive producers to increase production.

In 2015, Italy (29.4 %), France (26.3 %), and Spain (23.6 %) were the EU countries producing most grapes for wine use, making up 79.3 % of total production (see Figure 7). They were followed by Germany (5.1 %), Portugal (3.9 %), Romania (3.2 %), Greece (2.3 %), Hungary (2 %), and Austria (1.3 %). Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia are also significant grape producers.

In 2015, the production of grapes for wine use increased by around 3.5 % compared to 2014, and it stood 3.4 % above 5-year average levels.

In 2015, the price of wine decreased by 2.2 % compared to 2014 and increased by 5.9 % in comparison to the period 2010-2014 (see Figure 9). The median price of grapes [10] for wine production was € 50.15 per 100 kg (see Table 3).

Olives

The EU is also the largest producer of olive oil in the world, accounting for almost three quarters of global production [11]. Most of global production comes from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East as 95% of the olive trees in the world are cultivated in the Mediterranean region.

Main European olive producers are Spain (65.6%), Italy (18.3%), Greece (8.6%) and Portugal (6.8%) (see Figure 8).

The olive oil price index surged in 2015 (36.1%). If we consider the rate of change over the period 2010-2014 the increase was 45.9% (see Figure 9). The median price of extra virgin olive oil [12] was € 509.10 per 100 litres (see Table 3).

Data sources and availability

Crop statistics

Statistics on crop products are obtained by sample surveys, supplemented by administrative data and estimates based on expert observations. The sources vary from one EU Member State to another because of national conditions and statistical practices. National Statistical Institutes or Ministries of Agriculture are responsible for data collection in accordance with EU Regulations. The finalised data sent to Eurostat are as harmonised as possible. Eurostat is responsible for establishing EU aggregates.

The statistics that are collected on agricultural products relate to more than 100 individual crop products. Information is collected for the area under cultivation (expressed in 1 000 hectares), the quantity harvested (expressed in 1 000 tonnes) and the yield (expressed in 100 kg per hectare). For some products, data at a national level may be supplemented by regional statistics at NUTS 1 or 2 level.

Agricultural price statistics

EU agricultural price statistics (APS) are based on voluntary agreements between EUROSTAT and the Member States. The National Statistical Institutes or Ministries of Agriculture are responsible for collecting absolute prices and calculating corresponding average prices for their country, as well as for calculating price indices and periodically updating the weights. Price indices are reported quarterly and annually. Absolute prices are reported annually. The agricultural prices expressed in national currency are converted into EURO by EUROSTAT using the fixed exchange rates or financial market exchange rates, in order to allow comparisons between the Member States. Eurostat is responsible for calculating indices for the EU.

Context

There is a diverse range of natural environments, climates and farming practices across the European Union (EU), reflected in the broad array of food and drink products that are made available for human consumption and animal feed, as well as a range of inputs for non-food processes. Indeed, agricultural products form a major part of the cultural identity of the EU’s people and its regions.

Statistics on agricultural products may be used to analyse developments within agricultural markets in order to help distinguish between cycles and changing production patterns; they can also be used to study how markets respond to policy actions. Agricultural product data also provide supply-side information, furthering understanding as regards price developments which are of particular interest to agricultural commodity traders and policy analysts.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Data visualisation

Publications

Main tables

Agricultural production (t_apro)
Crops products (t_apro_cp)

Database

Agricultural production (apro)
Crops products (apro_cp)
Crop statistics (area, production and yield) (apro_acs)
Crop statistics (from 2000 onwards) (apro_acs_a)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

Other information

External links

Notes

  1. Based on estimates made by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. See [http://www.fao.org/3/a-I5703E.pdf food outlook
  2. Short Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets – Winter 2016 https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/markets-and-prices/short-term-outlook/pdf/2016-3_en.pdf
  3. European Commission’s Directorate- General of Agriculture and Rural Development. See also http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sugar/index_en.htm
  4. Short-Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets in 2015 and 2016: https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/markets-and-prices/short-term-outlook/pdf/2015-11_en.pdf
  5. Several Member States opted in 2015 for Voluntary Coupled Support for soybeans while 15 Member States consider areas planted with soybeans eligible as Ecological Focus Areas, as soybeans are nitrogen fixing crops.
  6. Short Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets in 2016 and 2017 https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/markets-and-prices/short-term-outlook/pdf/2016-3_en.pdf.
  7. 11 Member States provided data on prices of tomatoes in the open (all varieties).
  8. 22 Member States provided data on prices of dessert apples (all varieties).
  9. see https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/wine/statistics_en
  10. 11 Member States provided data on prices of grapes for wine production.
  11. See Agriculture-olive oil
  12. 5 Member States provided data on prices of extra virgin olive oil.