EU plans to grow more cereals

20-06-2008 | |

High grain prices have encouraged EU crop growers to plant more cereals and fewer biofuel crops. This can be concluded from EU statistics, released on Wednesday.

Figures from EU statistical agency Eurostat show that the amount of land
planted with cereal crops such as wheat and barley is expected to grow by 5.7%
from last year. Durum wheat — used to make pasta — will be planted on 12.6% more
land than in 2007.

Rapeseed – the basis for biodiesel in Europe – was
planted on fewer fields. It is the first time in five years that the amount of
land dedicated to rapeseed is reduced.

Eurostat said these changes were
mainly due to the high prices for cereals – as a result of high demands and low
stocks – at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.

Eurostat expects
the EU cereal harvest to grow by 10% this year, warning that its figures are
likely to be revised. Unexpected rain or drought often sees final harvests
differ hugely from forecasts.

The amount of land used for protein crops —
half of them peas — continues to shrink, it said, despite growing demand for the
crops as animal feed.

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