Reuters – European Union imports of maize could rise to 20 million tonnes this season after drought is expected to leave the bloc with a smaller than average crop at a time of ample international supply, the EU’s executive said recently.
For the EU’s 27 member countries, the European Commission’s official forecast is for 2020/21 maize (corn) imports of 19 million tonnes against 18.4 million last season.
Ontario has often been a seller of corn to Europe.
But record projected global maize output could drive further consumption of the cereal for livestock feed, the Commission said.
“EU imports could reach 20 million tonnes to compensate for the lower production,” it said in its short-term agricultural outlook report.
The Commission cut its forecast in September for usable production in this year’s EU maize harvest to 63.1 million tonnes from the 70.2 million projected in August.
That was nearly 10 per cent below last year’s volume and 3.7 per cent lower than the average of the past five years, it said in an Oct. 5 report, citing the impact of a drought-related plunge in Romania’s crop.
The EU is also estimated to have harvested a much smaller common wheat crop this year after adverse weather, with the Commission pegging usable production at 115.5 million tonnes, eight per cent below the five-year average.