More than any other economic sector, agricultural production depends on weather, and this year is no exception. According to the latest EU short term economic outlook for agricultural markets, heat waves and drought in some countries, in particular Spain, will most likely mean that EU cereal production will be below average in 2017-18, for the second year running. Despite an expected increase of 3.4 million tonnes compared to 2016-17, the total EU cereal production is forecast at 298 million tonnes.
The low cereal production levels will have a knock-on effect on EU exports and a reduction in stock levels, but sufficient levels of global cereal production mean that prices are not expected to rise.
In contrast, EU oilseeds and protein crops production is expected to recover after two smaller-than-usual harvests (up to 38 million tonnes, that means 8% above last year). This is due to an increase in the area planted to a record high (nearly 13.7 million hectares), as well as a higher yield for rapeseed thanks to better weather conditions.
This first year without sugar production quotas resulted in a significant increase of beet planted area. EU white sugar production for 2017-18 is now forecast at 20.1 million tonnes, 20% above the 2016-17 level but a more modest 3% higher than 2014-15. More information on the evolution of the sugar sector can be found via the new sugar market observatory.
Modest growth is expected in EU milk production, with sustained demand for dairy fat. EU meat exports are generally good, but pigmeat exports are expected to fall as a result of lower production and the consequent increase in prices.
12 July 2017