News7 December 2018Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
EU agricultural outlook 2018-2030: cereal production to continue its increase
Even though the amount of land used for agricultural purposes in the EU is projected to continue to fall between now and 2030, most arable crops are expected to increase their production according to the EU agricultural outlook report published on 6 December 2018.
The report notes a decline of total agricultural land in the EU is to be expected between now and 2030, though at a slower pace than in the past decade. The area is estimated to decrease from 178 million ha in 2018 to 176 million ha in 2030. In line with this trend, main cereals, permanent grassland and permanent crops are set to further decline in the period to 2030. In contrast, land used for fodder will increase slightly, mostly driven by silage maize, reaching 22 million ha in 2030.
Development of agricultural area in the EU (million ha)
Source: European Commission
For the sugar sector, health initiatives and consumer preferences will lead to a decline in EU consumption by 5%. It is expected to be only partially substituted by an increasing use of isoglucose in processed food. As total caloric sweetener, consumption will decrease by 2%. By 2030, the EU sugar production is expected to reach 19.3 million t, in comparison with 18.6 million t in 2018. With this level of production, the EU will remain a net exporter of sugar in a world market dominated by Brazil.
Concerning the cereal market, production is predicted to continue growing, and reach 325 million t by 2030 (compared to 284 million t for 2018). This growth will be driven by an increase in industrial use of cereals, a small rise in feed demand, and export prospects. However, further growing will be restricted due to the limited potential for area expansion and slower yield growth. Finally, prices are expected to remain fairly stable, with for example common wheat being at around €180 per t.
Development of cereal prices (€ per tonne)
Graph: Development of cereal prices (€ per tonne)
As for oilseeds, no further growth is expected in the rapeseed crop area due to the opportunities and limits of biofuel policy after 2020. Soyabean is expected to further expand in the EU, at a slower pace than most recently. In addition, driven by a favourable policy environment, protein crops have recently experienced a strong revival. Over the outlook period, strong demand both for feed purposes and for human consumption will further drive production growth of soya beans and protein crops. This, together with some yield improvements, will lead to a further increase in EU production. However, with a share of only 1.4 % of total agricultural land, the protein crop area will remain limited.
Over the outlook period, demand for feed should grow, mainly due to a further increase of poultry and dairy production. Total feed use should reach 275 million t in 2030 for the three types of compound feed (low, medium and high-protein content). Demand will however be higher for feed from locally produced, GM (genetically modified)-free and organic crops.
Further information and data can be found in the EU agricultural report for 2018-30, as well as predictions for other EU agricultural markets such as meat and dairy or olive oil. The prospect for this and other markets to 2030 is also discussed during the EU agricultural outlook conference in Brussels on 7 December 2018.