The European Commission on Thursday raised its forecast for European Union soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2021/22 season, as it revised the strongly expected imports upwards.
In the monthly supply and demand projections, the Commission projected stocks of soft wheat, or common wheat, at the end of the season at 13.3 million tonnes, up from 12.9 million in December and a four-year high.
The increase in forecast stocks this month was mainly due to an upward revision of 500,000 tonnes of EU soft wheat imports in 2021/22 to 2.0 million tonnes.
The Commission made few other revisions to its soft wheat supply and demand balance sheet, with usable production in 2021/22 reduced slightly to 130.5 million tonnes from 130.6 million previously, and EU wheat export projections unchanged at 32.0 million tonnes.
On the other hand, a reduction in forecast barley imports to 1.0 million tonnes from 1.3 million led the Commission to lower its forecast for 2021/22 barley stocks to 4.15 million tonnes from 4.5 million last month.
For maize, the Commission lowered its forecast for usable production in 2021/22 in the 27 EU member countries to 69.0 million tonnes, from 69.4 million a month ago.
Combined with a sharp increase in projected maize exports, to 5.0 million tonnes from 3.7 million forecast in December, this brought expected ending maize stocks to 17.3 million tonnes from 18.9 million.
The Commission left its forecast for EU maize imports in 2021/22 unchanged at 14.5 million tonnes.
In oilseeds, rapeseed import forecasts were lowered to 4.9 million tonnes from 5.3 million tonnes.
But projected stocks were maintained at 0.5 million tonnes as the reduction in imports was offset by a reduction in domestic use to 21.8 million tonnes from 22.2 million.
Source: Reuters (Reporting Gus Trompiz, edited by Sybille de La Hamaide, Kirsten Donovan)