EU production rebounds as France leads the way

LARGE swathes of Europe have been denied a traditional spring after enduring one of the coldest Aprils in many decades. This hindered the growth and development of winter crops, and delayed the planting and emergence of
spring and summer crops across much of the continent.

These conditions were in stark contrast to warmer-than-average temperatures that dominated late March weather in many countries. On the coldest April days, minimum temperatures were among the lowest on record, with severe frosts battering crops in a belt that extended from Scotland in the north to Italy and Greece in the south.  Fortunately, it is still early in the season, and the negative impacts on winter and spring crop production are expected to be minimal at this stage. However, several instances have led to a downward revision of yield forecasts for canola and durum wheat in parts of France and Italy.

Total wheat production for the 27 member states of the European Union is expected to increase 7.79 million tonnes (Mt), or 6.2 per cent, to 292.65Mt on the back of more favourable seeding and growing conditions, especially in France. An increase of 3.5pc in the seeded area was the primary contributing factor, with the average yield up just 2.6pc.

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