Spain Forecasts a 23% Lower Grain Harvest


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The sectorial council of Cereals of Agro-food Cooperatives of Spain made a second estimate of the Cereal harvest of 18.15 Million tons, which is 23% less than the average of the last three years. By crops, common Wheat would be 5.1 Mt (data that represents a decrease of 21.5% compared to the average of the last three campaigns), Barley 6.6 Mt (-30.56%), Corn 3.8 Mt (-6.63%), Durum Wheat 668,120 tons with a decrease of 12.3% to the average of the last three campaigns; the Oat harvest is estimated at 889,191 tons (-31.56%), Rye 181,514 (-47%) and, the Triticale harvest is estimated at 739,649 tons (-15% on the data of the last three years)

The above-average temperatures and dry conditions prevailing in May reduced Grain-specific weight, deteriorating yielding potential in the central part of the country. The sweltering temperatures registered in June have been detrimental for the country’s northern half, where most of Spain’s winter Grains are produced.

As a result, the average yield for all Cereals stands at 2,590 kilos per hectare. In comparison, it was 3,560 kilos previously. Wheat reaches 2,730 kilos (3,990 kilos in the previous one), durum Wheat stands at 2,410 kilos (2,880 kilos in 2021), and barley has fallen to 2,770 kilos from 3,740 kilos in 2021. Area statistics reflected the continuation of the long-term decline trend and was forecast to amount to just below 5.8 million hectares. 

It shows short harvest does not cover consumption needs, which is a great challenge for the Spanish Cereal sector, which will need to complement national production with imports to supply the needs of the important national livestock herd. Spanish Cereal harvest hit a record high of 27.6 million tons in 2020 and decreased to 24.5 million tons in 2021. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Spain’s total Grain consumption in MY 2022/23 is currently projected at 34.5 million tons, down from the over 36 million tons estimated for MY2021/22. The country’s Grain users are struggling with the commodity price surge initiated in the second half of 2021 and aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and soaring energy costs. 

In MY 2021/22, only slight downward corrections were reported. Animal feed is Spain’s primary Grain destination, accounting for over 75 percent of the country’s demand. Spain’s feed compounders supply the dynamic domestic livestock sector. 

Spain is a net importer of Cereals, with a structural deficit in the trade balance. National production does not cover domestic needs, specifically those of the feed processing industry for animal consumption. The need to supply the national market forces Spanish operators to go to international markets, mainly Community markets, to make up for the production deficit through imports.

Spain’s Wheat Export 

In 2020, Spain exported Wheat worth $187 Million, making it the 23rd largest Wheat exporter in the world. The leading destination of Wheat exports from Spain was Tunisia ($79.2M), Italy ($39.4M), Portugal ($24.6M), Morocco ($9.14M), and France ($8.88M). 

In terms of Autonomous communities, Castile and Leon states ranked highest on the list of regions producing Wheat in Spain with a total production volume of over 3.7 million tons in 2020, followed by the southern region of Andalusia, which produced a total of approximately 1.06 million tons of Wheat that year. Castile-La Mancha (0.9 million tons), Aragon (0.8 million tons), Navarre (0.4 million tons), Catalonia (0.4 million tons) were the next performers.  

According to the Spanish flour millers’ association (AFHSE), citing data collected in early 2020, the sector has 101 active flour mills and eight semolina plants. The association described the industry as almost entirely made up of small- and medium-sized family businesses. Around 80% of the mills are in rural areas and employ some 3,000 people.



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