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PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - The EU’s crop monitoring service MARS cut its 2020 soft wheat yield forecast again on Monday to take account of rain damage in southeast Europe but lifted estimates for most spring crops which benefited from good weather conditions.
In a monthly report, MARS pegged the average soft wheat yield in the European Union at 5.54 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), down from 5.60 t/ha last month and 6.00 t/ha in 2019.
The soft wheat yield decline is mainly due to sharp downward revisions for Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary associated with a unfavourable season worsened by heavy rain around ripening, MARS said.
The poor conditions outweighed the slight upward revisions in most other countries, it said.
In other cereals, MARS increased its outlook for the EU’s winter barley yield to 5.64 t/ha from 5.58 t/ha seen in June but still well below the 6.11 t/ha recorded in 2019.
The spring barley yield was pegged at 4.33 t/ha, up from 4.07 t/ha last month and 4.13 t/ha in 2019.
The upward revision for spring barley from last month reflected improved or continued favourable conditions in almost all major producing countries, MARS said.
It also raised its grain maize yield estimate to 8.21 t/ha from 8.20 t/ha last month.
The EU average grain maize yield forecast was now 8.3% above the five-year average, MARS said.
“Close-to-average weather conditions, with well distributed rainfall and relatively few hot spells, have been favourable to crops in many parts of Europe,” it said.
The sugar beet yield was now expected at 75.9 t/ha, up from 75.5 t/ha estimated last month and 1.8% above the five-year average.
For rapeseed, MARS raised its EU 2020 yield forecast to 2.97 t/ha from 2.90 t/ha last month, nearly unchanged from 2019 but 3.8% below the five-year average.
Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Forrest Crellin; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Evans