FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 11/00 - EC (10 November)
EC (10 November)
FAO's latest forecast puts aggregate 2000 cereal production in the EC at almost 216 million tonnes, 6 percent up from last year and 6 percent above the average of the past five years. The increase results from the combined effect of an overall larger cereal area and higher average yields for this year’s crop. Wheat output is now estimated at about 105 million tonnes, slightly down from that reported in September but still some 7 percent up on last year. The forecast for aggregate coarse grain production has been adjusted upward slightly since the last report to some 108 million tonnes, which would be about 5 percent above the 1999 output. Output of barley is seen to increase 6 percent to almost 52 million tonnes and that of oats by 12 percent to 6.7 million tonnes. The maize crop is forecast to reach almost 38.5 million tonnes, 3 percent up from 1999. The paddy crop harvest has been completed in Spain, where production is estimated to have fallen by 10 percent compared to last year. In Italy, flood problems affected the northern producing regions in mid- October, when about 15 percent of the crop were still to be harvested. Earlier forecasts for this country had already pointed to a poor quality crop, following an abnormally cool July. Overall output for the EC is currently forecast to decline by 105 000 tonnes from 2.6 million tonnes in 1999. However, this does not yet take into consideration the recent losses incurred in Italy.
Prospects for the winter grain crops already in the ground or now being planted throughout the Community are uncertain. Planting operations have generally been hampered in late September and October by widespread rainfall. In particular, Italy’s major cereal producing region in the north of the country has been severely hit by torrential rains and flooding, which will jeopardize this year’s winter crop planting. The exception to the overall wet pattern throughout the Community is the Iberian Peninsula, where more rainfall is needed to favour planting of the winter wheat and barley crops.