Initial Copa and Cogeca EU-28 cereal and oilseeds estimates released show the grain area to be quite stable this year, but producers are being hit by extreme weather events, low market prices and high production costs, creating uncertainty about the final figures.
Chairman of the Cereals Working Party Max Schulman said “The area under cereals in 2018 is expected to be 1.4% down on last year’s level, reaching 54.9 million hectares, with a 2% production drop. But this figure could change significantly as producers across Europe have been affected by adverse weather conditions, ranging from severe drought in Portugal and Spain to floods in parts of Northern Europe”. “Supply far outweighs demand for the sixth consecutive year, causing market prices to be below production costs. Costs must be cut and duties on fertilizer imports removed”, added Schulman.
Vice Chairman of Copa and Cogeca Oilseeds Working Party Mike Hambly said that this year’s EU-28 oilseeds area remains quite stable seeing a 0.2% fall, reaching 11.78 million hectares, but prices are low, also due to large global supply and big stocks.
“The area under protein crops remains also quite stable at 1.1 million hectares, down 0.4%, but cuts were seen in some countries in view of the plant protection product ban on Ecological focus Areas (EFAs) ”, added Hambly.
Tuesday February 6, 2018/ Cop-Cogeca/ European Union.