The price of corn reached higher than the price of wheat.

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The price of corn is higher than the price of wheat. The spring weed is becoming an increasingly sought-after commodity amid declining forecasts for the corn production of the major producers in the EU: France, Romania and Italy, countries heavily affected by drought, informs Agrointelligence.

The European corn harvest is likely to be very low. Heat and drought have affected corn crops in many regions and drastically reduced production potential. The situation is reflected in the prices of MATIF corn on the futures market, which are 352.25 euros per ton at the beginning of August, about 10 euros higher than wheat.

The new corn crop (November) is currently traded on the Paris Stock Exchange at 323 euros per ton. In the German spot market, grain corn from the Brake import port recently cost €336 per tonne for the old crop, and the asking price for the new crop next autumn was €340 per tonne.

Like other grain prices, corn prices remain highly volatile, heavily influenced by events and ongoing difficulties in implementing the export agreement in Ukraine.

The EU Commission estimates European maize imports from third countries for the new season at 16.5 million tonnes – after the Commission significantly reduced its harvest forecast earlier in the month based on regional harvest estimates.

The EU-27 maize harvest is now forecast at 65.8 million tonnes, up from 71.7 million tonnes in the June forecast and 72.7 million tonnes last year.

The background to the drastic reduction in the harvest is caused by the drought and heat wave in Europe and the massive damage to the corn. The European Mars Institute cut its forecast for maize production by 8% to 7.25 t/ha, compared to an average of 7.87 t/ha over the past five years.

And in France, the heat wave in mid-July and the lack of rainfall had consequences. FranceAgriMer also lowered its “good to very good” corn score by eight points to 75%, a fifteen-point drop from 2021.

France, Romania, Italy – bad harvests

France’s corn crop is currently forecast at 12.99 million tonnes, compared to 15.5 million tonnes last year. Irrigated crops, which account for 35 percent of France’s grain corn area, could limit losses, with a growing number of regions in France and Italy imposing water restrictions due to below-average spring rainfall.

Drought-hit Italy cut its harvest forecast to 5.0 million tonnes – from 6.0 million tonnes last year.

For Romania, the largest European corn producer and, along with France, the most important intra-European exporter, the Commission expects a harvest of 13.98 million tons compared to 15.2 million tons. And in Romania, the drought started in the spring and significantly affected the yield potential of corn and more.

The estimated harvest for Germany is 3.98 million tonnes, compared to 4.46 million tonnes last year. Most German analysts also estimate the grain corn harvest at less than 4 million tons.

The EU Commission estimates Poland’s maize harvest at 7.0 million tonnes, after a record 7.5 million tonnes last year. Poland appears to have fared slightly better in terms of rainfall, but Polish analysts say the next three weeks will also be critical in terms of maize production.