EU maize stocks at the end of the current marketing season (2016/17) are now forecast to fall slightly below the levels recorded in 2012/13 by the EU Commission. This is the result of two consecutive years with below average output at 60Mt, against robust demand.
Last month, maize stocks were expected to be the lowest since 2013/14. This change follows a cut to 2016/17 maize closing stock figure of 6Mt compared to the forecasts released in December.
This reduction is not as startling as it might first appear as it is the result of increases to the amount of maize used for bioethanol in all seasons since 2011/12. Arguably, nothing has fundamentally changed in the relative stocks of the last five years as annual stock estimates for the period have generally fallen by similar amounts.
However, the correction in the official EU data reduces official expectations of maize stocks as at 30 June that will have to satisfy demand until the new crop is available in the autumn. What, if anything, this means to the politics of feed grain in Europe e.g. biofuels and import controls, remains to be seen.
Tight supplies of this key feed grain across the EU as a whole is adding support to EU wheat prices as both crops need to limit demand and prevent stocks sinking further.
This piece was supplied by Brenda Mullan at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board