Raw materials

News last update:14 Jan 2016

Record EU harvest: more grains used for feed

The cereal production figure for 2014/2015 marketing year is now consolidated at a record level of 329 million tonnes. The figure is 14% above the 5 year trimmed average and 8% higher than the previous year.

This is stated by the European Commission in the report: 'Short-Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets in 2015 and 2016'. The main contributions to the increase in production are soft wheat (+10%) and maize (+17%). Soft wheat reaches a record of 149 million tonnes with increases in all the major producing countries; France +1.7% (37.5 million tonnes), Germany +11% (27.7 million tonnes), the United Kingdom +39% (16.6 million tonnes) recovering from a previous bad year and Poland +23% (11.6 million tonnes).

Larger availabilities support animal feed use

At the end of the 2014/2015 marketing year the EU cereal net exports are estimated at 32.0 million tonnes, i.e. 8 million tonnes more than the previous year. Exports are estimated to reach a record level of 47.5 million tonnes, boosted by a competitive exchange rate with 31.5 million tonnes of wheat (48% higher than average) and 11 million tonnes of barley (70% higher than average). Animal feed use is estimated at a higher volume than in 2013/2014 (+5% at 172.5 million tonnes) supported mainly by increases in animal production and livestock numbers and low cereal prices, with a substantial contribution of wheat (feed use up by 22%). The final stock-to-use ratio for all cereals at the end of the period is forecast at 18% (against 13% in 2013/2014), 11% for soft wheat, 16% for barley and 30% for maize. Stocks were replenished substantially however the stock-to-use ratio remains below the exceptional level of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010.

2015/2016 EU harvest above average

First projections for the 2015/2016 marketing year anticipate a cereal harvest at 307 million tonnes, which is 6% above average and 7% below the 2014/2015 record. First estimates show a reduction in areas of about 0.8%, mainly due to lower market prices, and driven by a 1.3% decline in soft wheat sowings, 4.4% for maize and 7.6% for triticale whilst more hectares are projected for barley (+1.7%), rye (+6.3%) and oats (+2.3). Overall yields are expected to return to more normal levels. The production reduction compared to last year is projected for all cereals with the exception of durum wheat (+3.7%). Durum wheat areas (+4.2%) at the time of sowings were fostered by better prices compared to the previous year and by the introduction of voluntary coupled support in some regions. However, a slight reduction in yields is expected (-0.6%), due to adverse climatic conditions (dry and hot spells) in southern Spain (Andalucia) and southern Italy (Puglia).

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