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European cereals production in decline


14 Jul 2009

13 July 2009

European farmers and agri-cooperatives have estimated the 2009 cereals harvest in the EU-27 at
309.4 million tonnes. This forecast, along with low harvest prices, could lead farmers to change
their sowing intentions this autumn. Cereals production for the 2010/2011 marketing year is
expected to fall even further and could impact on future stocks.

"These days, farmers are making sowing decisions based on production costs and less and less on
market forecasts. Market prices do not cover production costs in the cereals sector", stated Paul
Temple, Chairman of the Copa-Cogeca Working Party on Cereals, Oilseeds and Protein Crops.
He went on to warn about the possible consequences of losing confidence in planting next year’s
crop: “This autumn’s planting could lead to a substantial further decline in production and much
more price volatility. It would also take Europe a long time to recover.”

Average yields are failing to increase as a result not only of the effect of climate change but also of
lower fertiliser and plant protection product use. A prolonged drop in yields could in turn lead to
greatly-reduced long-term investments in the sector. Society must be made aware of the
consequences of a significant further drop in European production, especially at a time when
food security is once again becoming a key item on the global political agenda.

Full details on the harvest forecasts for cereals, oilseeds and protein crops are available at:

For further information, please contact:

Arnaud Petit
Tel.: +32 2 287 27 03

Simon Michel-Berge
Press Officer
Mobile: + 32 474 840 836


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