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German 2024 wheat and rapeseed crops again forecast to shrink

Germany’s wheat crop will shrink by 5.6% this year to 20.31 million metric tons, the country’s association of farm cooperatives said in its latest harvest estimate on Thursday, continuing forecasts of reduced crops.

It forecast Germany’s 2024 winter rapeseed crop will fall 8.4% from last summer to 3.87 million tons.

Declines had been expected after reductions to planted areas, but the wheat forecast was slightly up from the previous estimate of 20.16 million tons after new offical estimates of the sown area.

The association said its forecasts are slightly changed to reflect latest estimates, with reductions in national statistics office projections of wheat and winter rapeseed planted areas on May 17.

Reductions in planted areas had been expected after rainy autumn weather and increased use of farmland for purposes including house building and expansion of solar and wind power infrastructure.

Disruption of autumn sowings by rain means that the EU 2024 soft wheat harvest is expected to fall, French consultancy Strategie Grains forecasts.

Heavy rain in the past week in south Germany could cause some localised crop damage, but this is not expected to have significant impact on the national crop total, the association said.

Germany is the European Union’s second-largest wheat producer behind France and one of the EU’s largest producers of rapeseed, Europe’s main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.

Germany’s winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, is predicted to fall 3.1% to 9.27 million tons, the association said.

The spring barley crop, largely used for beer and malt production, is forecast to rise by 33.5% to 1.89 million tons after a 13% increase in plantings as farmers turned to spring grains after autumn disruption to winter grain plantings.

Germany’s grain maize (corn) crop is projected to rise by 0.8% to 4.53 million tons.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by David Goodman)

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