EU grains exports to increase by 40% in 2022/23

15 April 20223 min reading

According to the spring 2022 edition of the short-term outlook report published by the European Commission, EU grain production is projected to reach 297.7 million tonnes for the 2022 harvest. The Commission forecast that EU grain exports would increase by almost 40% to 41.4 million tonnes in 2022/23 season.

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has significantly disturbed global agricultural markets. This has created more uncertainty regarding the future availability of grains and oilseeds, and has added a layer of instability to already tense markets. The EU is largely self-sufficient for food, with a massive agri-food trade surplus. Nevertheless, there are some concerns around affordability due to high market prices and inflationary trends.

These issues form the basis for the spring 2022 edition of the short-term outlook for EU agricultural markets report published by the European Commission on 5 April 2022. The report presents a detailed overview of the latest trends and prospects for a range of agri-food sectors.

The following are highlights from report:


Sowing areas for 2022/23 winter cereals are estimated slightly above the area of last season. Winter wheat and winter barley sowing areas are estimated at, respectively, 20.7 and 4.8 million ha. A boost in maize area is expected following the temporary relaxation of greening rules for fallow land and nitrogen fixing crops but also record high prices that will make the production particularly attractive, despite input prices having gone to new highs, in particular fertiliser prices.

Assuming average weather developments during spring and summer, total EU cereals production could reach 297.7 million tonnes (+1.5% year-on-year). Together with a reduced demand for feed due to lower pigmeat production and reduced use of cereals for biofuel, this could help to soften the impact the expected lack of grain exports from Ukraine may have on global markets.

Soft wheat production is forecast at 131.3 million tonnes, barley at 53.6 million tonnes and maize at 74.0 million tonnes. Given high feed prices and expected decrease in EU meat (in particular pigmeat) production, the demand for animal feed is expected to decrease by 1.1% in 2022/23 compared to 2021/22. EU total feed demand could reach 159.1 million tonnes.  

Exports of cereals are expected to increase by 14% this marketing year (until end of June), largely driven by an additional 5.6 million tonnes of soft wheat compared to the previous season. This may increase further after the 2022 summer harvest, with net exports of EU cereals potentially increasing by almost 40% to 41.4 million tonnes from July 2022 to June 2023 (2022/23 marketing year).

Oilseed prices have skyrocketed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with rapeseed and sunflower seed prices reaching EUR 1,000 per tonne. Oilseed production, however, is not a concern, being estimated to grow by 6.5% to 30.2 million tonnes this marketing year, and projected to increase to 32.2 million tonnes in the coming marketing year. The latter would include 11.2 million tonnes of sunflower seeds.

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