Autumn plantings are drawing to a close, in Europe. Rapeseed areas (for the 2022 harvest) have gone up again in most European production countries, as oilseeds benefit from the attractive prices and planting conditions, which have been satisfactory worldwide. On the other hand, soft winter wheat plantings will remain unchanged and may even drop slightly. As to the spring of 2022, maize plantings should remain unchanged throughout Europe, due to good price prospects on the grain maize market and high yields in most production countries (except for Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia).
However, trends should be rather mixed in the various production regions, given the rapeseed area increase in the autumn of 2021 and the sudden leap in fertilizer prices. By contrast, EU feed maize areas are expected down, as feed stocks have already been rebuilt satisfactorily in the main production countries and biogas markets may be impacted by Germany’s regulatory changes.
Outside the EU, Russia should see a sharp decline in its winter wheat plantings (impacted by export taxes), which should free up land for more maize hectarage next spring. In Ukraine, on the other hand, sunflower is expected to be a strong competitor; as a result, the country’s maize area should – at best – remain unchanged.
Area planted to seeds that supply the above markets reached a record 304 000 hectares in 2021, for the 2022 marketing year (up 15 percent from 2020). France remains Europe’s first seed maize producer, with 85 000 hectares (up 6 percent), followed by Ukraine (44 000 hectares, up 46 percent), Romania (35 000 hectares, up 13 percent), and Hungary (31 000 hectares, up 13 percent).
As to yields, they should continue to meet expectations in France; they should be higher than expected in Ukraine, yet lower in Hungary and Romania, as a result of unfavourable weather. Domestic production levels are also estimated down in Russia (around 31 000 hectares) and Turkey (around 17 000 hectares). Overall, the crops’ quality will meet the objectives and the available supply of seeds should be enough for the various markets.