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EU cereal market to continue growing

23 January 20203 min reading

EU demand for cereals and oilseeds remains driven mainly by feed use, although industrial uses will grow more rapidly. These are just a few of the projections for the arable crops market from the European Union agricultural outlook for 2019-30 report published on 10 December 2019 by the European Commission.

EU cereal market is expected to grow through further differentiation. EU production is projected to reach 320 million tonnes in 2030 (compared to 312 million tonnes for 2019), the report says. Exports are expected to moderately increase due to enhanced competition at a global level, with rising production in the Black Sea region.

Concerning protein crops, a strong growth in EU production is expected, reaching 6.3 million tonnes in 2030 (compared to 3.9 million tonnes in 2019). This growth will be driven by a strong demand for plant protein products and locally produced protein sources, for both feed purposes and human consumption.

The African Swine Fever crisis in China and a shift towards plant-based protein in diets could reshape EU agricultural markets over the next ten years, leading to fluctuating pork prices and higher cultivation of pulses and soybean, according to EU agricultural outlook for 2019-30 report.

“Despite higher competition, the production of cereals is projected to slightly increase for domestic feed and industrial uses, and to supply a steady global demand. Production of soya beans and pulses will continue to grow to address feed and food demand for locally produced plant-protein products” the report says.

The EU cereal area is currently four times bigger than for oilseeds. The cereal area is projected to slightly increase (about 1%) and reach 55.6 million ha, while the oilseed area could lose about 200 000 ha to reach 11.4 million ha. By contrast, the pulses area is due to expand the most (+4% per year over the outlook period), though at a slower pace than the previous decade, and reach 2.4 million ha in 2030.

World wheat trade will continue to grow as global demand strengthens. The EU, thanks to high land productivity and close location to major importing markets, will remain the third main exporting region. Competition from nearby regions, such as the Black Sea, is becoming fierce. “These exporters expand their market access while improving the quality of their crops and their logistical infrastructure. The Black Sea region is expected to gain additional market shares at the expense of the EU, which could export around 27 million t in 2030. The same trend is expected for barley, where EU exports could reach 9.1 million t. By contrast, EU maize imports will remain strong particularly at the beginning of the outlook period but are expected to stabilise ultimately due to a weakening demand for animal feed. EU wheat and maize prices are expected to appreciate and reach EUR 214/t and EUR 211/t, respectively. EU wheat prices are expected to move towards the world price.” says European Commission.

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