Consulting firm Strategie Grains announced in its monthly forecast on Thursday that the European Union’s corn harvest will drop by 10 million tonnes, to a 15-year low of 55.4 million tonnes. .

The forecast marks a 15% cut from its July estimate of 65.4m tonnes for EU maize production in 2022/23.

Crop forecasters have cut their outlook for the EU maize crop as worsening drought and successive heat waves in major producing countries such as France, Romania and Hungary have tested corn plants during their crucial summer growth period.

“Prospects for the 2022 maize crops across Europe have deteriorated sharply,” states Strategie Grains in its monthly grain report. “This would be the smallest crop since 2007.”

Hot, dry weather in parts of the U.S. Midwest has also raised concerns about yield losses in the world’s largest corn producer, supporting prices this week ahead of the Agriculture Department’s global crop forecast. of the United States (USDA), which will be published on Friday.

Diminishing crop prospects prompted Strategie Grains to increase its forecast for EU maize imports in 2022/23 by almost 3 million tonnes, to 20 million, now above the 17.8 million estimated for 2021/22.

That would include 9 million tonnes of corn expected to come from Ukraine, although potential Ukrainian exports remain uncertain given the ongoing conflict with Russia and depending on progress in shipping grain through a shipping corridor, Strategie Grains said. .

For livestock feed, the main destination for corn, the consultancy lowered its corn consumption outlook for 2022/23 in the EU by more than 4 million tonnes, shifting some of the demand towards wheat and barley.

According to Strategie Grains, lower maize availability could reduce the supply of wheat and barley, depending on how much grain the EU exports.

It cut its estimate for EU soft wheat exports in 2022/23 to 29m tonnes from 30.4m last month and now close to last season’s level, pending further indications on Russian competition. after a slow start to its export campaign.

Strategie Grains maintained its 2022/23 EU common wheat production forecast at 123.3 million tonnes, down 6.5 million tonnes from last season, and raised its crop estimate of barley by 400,000 tons, up 50.0 million, now 1.9 million less than in 2021/22.

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