UK yield forecasts downgraded by EU crop monitor: Grain Market Daily

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Market commentary

  • UK and Paris wheat futures dipped yesterday as both sterling and the euro lifted against the US dollar. The UK Nov-20 contract closed at £166.85/t, down £1.15/t from Friday.
  • US winter wheat harvest reached 15% complete as at 14 June (in line with average) as spring wheat planting neared completion.
  • US maize and winter wheat condition scores dipped in the week ending 14 June after a dry windy start to June, though soyabean scores remained unchanged.
  • The Russian Ag Ministry plans to impose quotas on exports in the second half of the 2020/21 season. Full details haven’t yet been released but exports will be quota free until end-December. As we saw this season, the impact will likely depend on the size of any quotas.
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Helen Plant

Senior Analyst (Cereals & Oilseeds)

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UK yield forecasts downgraded by EU crop monitor

In response to the continued dry weather through May, the EU’s Crop Monitoring (MARS) service has further downgraded its forecasts for UK crop yields, including spring barley. As a result, MARS’s predictions for UK wheat, winter barley, spring barley and rapeseed are all now below the 5 year average.

The predictions for wheat, winter barley and spring barley were all decreased by around 1% from the May report, while that for rapeseed was cut by 3.8%. Spring barley yields were cut to reflect concerns about later planted crops that went into dry seed beds.

Rainfall in early June (up to 10 June) was beneficial for crops in northern areas, but was not enough to prevent the downgrades. Crops in eastern and southern areas are particularly of concern. The challenges to UK crops this season have been well covered in AHDB’s crop development reports.


More rain has fallen since 10 June, which will have been beneficial, but it’s been variable and sometimes localised. If borne out, below average yields would further tighten UK wheat and rapeseed supplies in 2020/21 and increase our reliance on imports.  


EU winter crop yields down but spring up

EU* yields for winter cereals and rapeseed were all cut by around 2% from the May report due to sharp reductions for France, Romania and the Benelux countries. The cuts are due to the dry weather through May and into June, when crops were flowering or entering grain-fill. Wheat and winter barley yields are now pegged 3% below the 5 year average, while rapeseed yields are 6% below.

The EU average spring barley yield was increased slightly to reflect good conditions in Spain, now 1% above average. However, concerns remain about crops in northern France, Poland and Germany in particular. Maize yields were increased due to favourable conditions in Eastern Europe and Spain and are now expected to be 8% above the 5 year average.


*The UK is no longer included in the EU total figures but is still reported on for now, along with several other non-EU countries including Ukraine.

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