The EU's wheat harvest, which sets the pace for grain markets across the continent, is expected to be 3% smaller than last year. It is also 3% behind the average of the past five years.
Barley production is forecast to come 2.1% below last year's, and 2.7% below the five-year average.
The forecast for maize sees a 2.3% decrease year-on-year, slightly below the five-year average, but this could yet change as the season develops.
Despite strong global demand, it is premature to anticipate any significant rise of world prices
Overall, the cereals harvest is expected to fall to just under 299,000t this year, 2.5% behind last year's and 2.8% lower than the five-year average. This results from a combined drop in sown area across the EU for the fourth year in a row and lower yields than last year.
"Nonetheless, EU and global cereal stocks are ample and despite strong global demand, it is premature to anticipate any significant rise of world prices," the Commission commented.
Oilseeds are seen to produce 4.6% less than last year, but this is against a "bumper" 2017 harvest. Oilseeds are expected to deliver 1.6% more than the five-year average. This is driven by significant drops in both rapeseed and sunflower production.
The official forecast follows that of the EU-wide farming body Copa-Cogeca earlier this week, which saw a 6% drop in cereal and oilseed production due to extreme weather conditions.
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