The European grain trade association Coceral has revised down its March forecast of EU grain production for the 2017 harvest, following hot dry weather to the south of the continent. It cautions that the estimates are subject to further variation, depending on weather patterns.

The latest end-May estimate is for 297.6 million tonnes, which is close to the 2016/17 EU production of 296.4 million tonnes and lower than the earlier prediction of 304.4m tonnes.

The association now predicts an EU wheat crop of 141.9m tonnes, almost 3m tonnes down from the March projection of 144.8m tonnes but still 7m tonnes up on the 2016 harvest. EU barley production is reduced to 59.5m tonnes from the earlier 57.2m tonnes – the lowest total since 2012 if realised.

 Coceral says the recent heat and drought in Spain has significantly reduced the crop yield potential there, while there has been a reduction in the French prospects, as rains missed the north-eastern part of the country. Spring barley yields are most at risk in both these areas. However, growing conditions across the central and eastern parts of the EU are generally good – the average crop yield forecast for Poland has been revised upwards.

The forecast of the 2017 EU corn crop is for a 60m tonne crop, down from the March pre-planting estimate of 61m tonnes and lower than the 2016 production of 60.8m tonnes. Analysts say a lower than expected corn plantings in Germany are behind their revision, which points to a third consecutive disappointing EU corn crop.

 See for the full estimates by member state and crop.