Dry summer weather is causing sudden damage to wheat crops in European Baltic Sea countries, putting a question mark over wheat export supplies, experts told Reuters. Denmark and Sweden may even need imports. “EU Baltic Sea countries are large exporters of high quality, high protein wheat and a very dry summer means the outlook for the crop is poor,” one German trader said. “Crop stress from dryness means the harvest is now uncertain.” Germany’s 2018 wheat crop may fall 6.5 percent to 22.89 million tonnes after dryness stress. Polish wheat also suffered from drought and recent rain was not enough to solve the problem, said Wojtek Sabaranski of analysts Sparks Polska. Poland’s wheat crop will fall 6.7 percent from 2017 to 10.9 million tonnes, Sabaranski forecasts.
In major exporter Lithuania, the harvest could fall to 3.1-3.2 million tonnes from 3.8 million last year after reduced sowings and dry weather, estimates Dainius Pilkauskas, Baltic states grain trading director at AB Linas Agro. “It is difficult to predict the quality of grain which is seen just before harvesting starts,” Pilkauskas said. “Only after knowing the quality we could plan export destinations.”
Wheat in Sweden was hit by a lack of early summer rain after poor autumn weather cut the sowed area, said Mikael Jeppsson, grain department head at giant Swedish farm and trading cooperative Lantmannen. Sweden’s wheat harvest is expected to fall by 15-20 percent from the five-year average of 2.46 million tonnes. “Sweden is traditionally a net exporter of wheat but it is likely that Sweden will be a net importer in the new season, with imports likely to be made from other EU countries.” says Jeppsson. A sharp fall in Denmark’s wheat harvest is also expected after crops suffered a very dry start to the summer, following a rainy autumn which cut wheat sowings. Denmark’s wheat crop could fall to 2.9 to 3.0 million tonnes from 4.6 million tonnes last year. REUTERS