Dry weather may curb promising EU wheat crop
Warm, dry weather in the European Union has boosted wheat crops after a damp, chilly start to spring, but dryness is now a risk in some zones as wheat enters a key month for determining yields before the summer harvest, analysts said.
“At the moment, the overall situation is reasonable. We haven’t had much rain recently but there are moisture reserves,” Gautier Le Molgat of consultancy Agritel said. “It’s clear that western Europe is looking better than the east.”
The warm spells, allied with moisture from the wet winter, notably benefited crops in countries like France and Spain, with the latter set to recover from a drought-hit 2017 harvest.
In France, 80 percent of soft wheat was in good or excellent condition, according to farm office FranceAgriMer.
Thunderstorms in France amidst hot weather may have contrasting effects.
“Given the high temperatures, the moisture is rather welcome but the intensity of the storms, whether or not with hailstones, can have an impact locally,” Jean-Paul Bordes of crop institute Arvalis said.
“With hail, crop damage can vary from zero to 100 percent.”
Traders are expecting soft wheat production of 37-38 million tonnes, above last year’s 36.6 million and higher than the average of the past five years.