Under withering drought, the
European Union is anticipating the smallest corn crop since 2007/08 with
production forecast down 21 percent year-over-year.
As a result, imports reached substantial volumes in the final weeks of 2021/22 and the European Union is forecast to return as the world’s largest corn importer in 2022/23 as China eases back its imports. As EU demand for imported corn has surged with a poor crop, it has boosted its imports not only from Brazil, but also from Ukraine via the Black Sea grain corridor where uncertainty remains over its continuation.
The European Union is also normally a nontrivial exporter of corn. With Romania, a major exporting member state, seeing a substantial decline in production, overall EU corn exports are forecast to drop sharply from 2021/22.
Global corn prices remain elevated and support the use of alternative grains for feed in the European Union. EU barley and wheat production are also down from the prior year, though not as dramatically as
corn. These two grains are expected to modestly buffer the impact of lower domestic corn supplies for feed; however, overall grain feeding in the European Union is forecast to contract by 4 percent or nearly 7 million tons.
Adding to the difficult grain supply situation, the European Union is facing a severe outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which has already resulted in the culling of around 50 million birds. Beef and pork producers in the European Union are also expected to scale back production in response to growing environmental restrictions and higher feed and energy costs which have tightened margins. USDA