Corn – Summer heat and dryness lowers EU’s forecast production

Corn production for 2017/18 in the European Union (EU) is forecast at 60.0 million metric tons (mmt), down 1.6 mmt or 3 percent from last month and down 1.1 mmt or 2 percent from last year, the USDA said in its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report

It said the harvested area is estimated at 8.6 million hectares (mha), down 0.2 mha from last month and nearly unchanged from last year. Yield is forecast at 6.99 tons per hectare, down 1 percent from last month and 2 percent from last year, but up 3 percent from the 5- year average.

EU corn is typically in the reproductive stage during July and in grain-fill during August. This season, summer heat and dryness have reduced prospects for corn production, the report pointed out.

“Although favorable rain fell on much of Europe during July, effects from long-term dryness and above-average heat are prominent in satellite imagery, particularly in south-central Europe. Satellite-derived vegetation indices (NDVI) show lower-than average conditions in south-central Europe,” the report added.

According to the report, production estimates for many EU countries were reduced this month, including Romania where counties in the west struggled with unfavourably light rainfall while counties in the south had favourable heavy rainfall.

“In addition to Romania, the largest reductions were made in France, Poland, Germany, Austria and Hungary. Estimated production for the adjacent but non-EU member Serbia, where satellite imagery indicates that vegetative vigour is particularly poor, was decreased 0.4 million tons,” the report said.

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