Cereal output down 8pc on five-year average
THIS summer’s drought has led to a significant drop of total EU cereal production, estimated at 8pc below the last five-year average, according to the latest short-term outlook report from the European Commission.
The report highlights that EU total cereal production for 2018 is expected to be at 284.3 mt, a decrease of 5pc compared to 2017/18 and of 8pc compared to the last five-year average.
The wheat harvest has suffered the most from this summer’s dry conditions, leading to a decrease of 9pc compared to 2017.
The wheat production forecast is set at 129 mt for 2018.
The dry and hot climatic conditions also influenced the milk and dairy sector due to the significant reduction in grassland growth and fodder production.
The increase in EU milk collection is lower than expected, with a forecast of 166.6 mt for 2018, leading to an increase of 0.6pc compared to 2017.
As for the meat sector, beef production is growing more than anticipated due to a reduced suckler cow herd in most member states, and a shortage of fodder linked with the drought, bringing forward slaughtering.
The net beef production for 2018 is forecasted at 8 mt, 1.6pc higher than in 2017.