Growing Toll From Europe’s Drought Hits Polish Corn

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Poland’s corn crop has been hard hit by the drought that wreaked havoc across much of Europe this summer. Corn production in Poland is expected to decline 20 percent to 3.2 million tonnes in 2018/19 compared with the previous year, the USDA forecasts. Polish corn exports were 975,000 tonnes in the first 10 months of 2018, with nearly 800,000 tonnes going to Germany. This is well below the 1.72 million tonnes exported in total last year. Polish corn imports are expected to increase, with purchases of Ukrainian corn already being made for delivery in January to offset production losses.

Poland experienced dry conditions in May and June, adversely affecting the corn crop as it started its growing season. Forecasts started looking up as much needed rains arrived in July, but this was quickly offset by dry conditions in August that contributed to decreased corn ear development and lower yields.

Poland's crop problems reflect production declines throughout Europe because of 2018's historic drought. Germany, for example, recently estimated total grain production will fall 16 percent this year from a year ago. And in Romania, oilseed production is expected to decrease by 10 percent from last year. Gro Intelligence subscribers monitor drought conditions and their effects on grain markets around the world.

An intense drought hitting much of Europe has cut into yields for Poland’s corn crop for 2018/19. The chart on the right shows evapotranspiration anomalies, with red areas indicating drier conditions. Production and exports are both expected to decrease from previous years’ results (left chart).

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