Strategie Grains raised the bar on forecasts for European Union wheat production, after improving results from the harvest eased jitters over disappointing results from early French and German cuts.
The analysis group lifted by 700,000 tonnes to a five-year high of 142.3m tonnes its estimate of the total wheat crop, reflecting improved expectations for output from a number of countries, including Germany, Hungary and Poland.
"Reports from the harvests suggest good yields in most producer countries," Strategie Grains said, pegging the soft wheat harvest at 134.2m tonnes, up 800,000 tonnes on last month's result, with the balance durum.
The upgrade followed a 2.8m-tonne hike, to 141.4m tonnes, on Monday by the US Department of Agriculture to its estimate, a revision attributed to early summer rains which, in providing "abundant soil moisture, aided grainfill".
"Above-average July temperatures and mostly dry conditions accelerated crop development and bolstered yield," the USDA said.
Furthermore, reports from within individual countries have been positive too, with Romania last week estimating its wheat harvest at a multi-year high of 7.3m tonnes, up from 5.2m tonnes last year.
In Germany, where initial harvest results had raised concerns over bushel weights, the DRV farm co-operatives group on Wednesday lifted its forecast for the overall grains crop by 700,000 tonnes to 47m tonnes.
And France's farm ministry last week lifted its forecast for the domestic crop, the EU's biggest, by 200,000 tonnes to 36.1m tonnes for soft wheat – excluding durum.
French harvest results, which began with disappointing protein levels in particular from early cuts, have improved significantly as combines have moved north.
'Clearly better quality'
Indeed, there has been "clearly better quality being found further north and good yields", traders at a major European commodities house said.
"Most forecasters are now suggesting a crop nearer 37m tonnes than 36m tonnes talked of earlier."
The traders added that harvesting in southern Germany and Poland "is also progressing with early indications pointing to yields at or above average".
In the UK, "quality continues to be good with, thankfully, no repeat of the specific weight problems of last year", but yields are proving "very variable", they said, observations borne out by a report from consultancy Adas on Thursday.
Barley and corn
Strategie Grains also raised its estimate for the EU barley harvest, by 1.0m tonnes to 58.3m tonnes, reflecting improved hopes for Danish, German and Spanish harvests.
Results of winter barley harvests have also exceeded many expectations, prompting a tumble in malting barley premiums.
However, the analysis group cut by 200,000 tonnes to 65.7m tonnes its forecast for EU corn production, citing dry and hot weather in central Europe.
The USDA on Monday reduced its forecast for EU corn production by 600,000 tonnes to 65.0m tonnes.