Germany, in most years one of the EU’s largest grain exporters, is expected to become a net importer after a hot, dry summer damaged crops, said a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).
“The drought has heavily affected grain, rapeseed and forage production in Germany,” said the report. “As a result, Germany is expected to strongly increase imports of soybeans/soybean meal and to become a net grain importer.”
“The U.S. is set to become top source of soybeans to Germany.”
Germany’s Agriculture Ministry forecast in August the country’s 2018 grains harvest would fall 15.8 percent on the year after crops suffered from drought and hot weather.
Its winter rapeseed harvest, the main oilseed for edible oil and animal feed production, was forecast by the ministry to fall 14.5 percent on the year.
German crops wilted under the highest summer temperatures since records began in 1881 and prolonged dryness.
“Use of domestic grains and rapeseed meal in (animal) feed rations is set to decrease in the remainder of 2018 and for at least the first half of 2019,” the GAIN report said. “This is partly because of the low domestic grains and rapeseed production and partly because of higher compound feed use.”
Higher use of manufactured compound animal feeds is a result of the lower German on-farm production of feed grains, it said.
“Domestic feed will be replaced by soybean meal and sunflower meal as well as grains from EU and non-European countries,” it said. “This is expected to boost soybean/soybean meal imports and soybean crush.”
“The U.S. is set to become the top source of soybeans for Germany due to supply and competitive prices.”