|14 August, 2019

Germany’s 2019 wheat crop set to rise, rapeseed slumps

Poor rapeseed harvest after plantings cut

HAMBURG- Germany's 2019 wheat harvest will be 17.5% higher than in the previous year at 23.81 million tonnes despite an early summer heatwave which stressed some crops, Germany’s association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Wednesday.

But Germany's 2019 winter rapeseed crop will fall 23.7% to 2.79 million tonnes, the smallest crop in 22 years, after reduced sowings, the association said in its latest harvest forecast.

The DRV forecast the country's grains harvest of all types will increase 21.7% to 46.19 million tonnes.

Germany is the European Union’s second largest wheat producer after France and has regularly been the EU’s largest producer of rapeseed, Europe’s main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.

The heatwave in Germany in late July and early August which produced record-high temperatures caused some damage to crop yields and quality in some areas, it said. But generally grains came through the heatwave well.

The latest forecast was only slightly below the association's previous harvest estimate on July 16 when it forecast Germany's wheat harvest at 23.85 million tonnes, the winter rapeseed crop at 2.97 million tonnes and the grain harvest of all types at 46.49 million tonnes.

Wheat and rapeseed harvesting in Germany is largely finished despite widespread rain in the country in the past two weeks which followed the heatwave, the DRV said. Wheat harvesting is more than 90% complete.

The rapeseed crop will be the smallest since 1997 because of the reduced planted area, it said. German rapeseed sowings last autumn were cut by unusually dry weather following the 2018 drought which meant the ground was too parched to carry out rapeseed sowings in some areas.

Germany’s winter wheat crop was already mostly in its ripening phase when the heatwave arrived, so plants were generally able to escape damage apart from some eastern areas.

Wheat quality varies between areas but is generally good to average, it said.

The 2019 winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, will increase 36.9% on last year’s drought-reduced harvest to 10.09 million tonnes, the association said.

The spring barley crop, used for malt and beer production, is expected to fall by 8.9% on the year to 2.01 million tonnes partly because the mild winter reduced the need to replant other frost-damaged grains.

The grain maize (corn) crop will rise 16.6% to 3.89 million tonnes compared with last year’s heatwave damaged crop. Maize crop yields suffered especially from last year’s drought.

Crops in Germany and much of west Europe crop were small in 2018 following the drought.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Jane Merriman) ((michael.j.hogan@thomsonreuters.com; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: michael.hogan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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