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Negative Crop Outlook for Spain, Portugal Due to Lack of Rain

04 July 2012

SPAIN & PORTUGAL - Dry conditions on the Iberian Peninsula persist during the first half of June, with no rainfall in most of the regions. This will have negative effects on winter and spring crop yields.

The lack of rainfall has been a constant in most of the regions from the second half of May to mid June. Winter cereals, currently between grain filling (Castilla y Leon) and maturity (Andalucía), suffered from these water constraints resulting in a reduction of their potential yield.

Durum wheat is currently harvested in Andalucía and the expected yields, according to remote sensing and crop indicators, will be close to year 2005, one of the lowest in the last decade.

Similar conditions have been observed in Alentejo, the most important producer of winter cereals in Portugal, with low yields forecast for winter barley, soft wheat and triticale.

Soft wheat yield in Spain is forecast to decrease as well, compared to the average of the last five years. The analysis of agronomic indicators suggests, up to now, that the decrease will not be as dramatic as in the case of durum wheat.

However, the crop is presently in the critical stage of grain filling, and meteorological conditions in the following weeks will determine the final yield. Expectations for spring barley – currently at flowering phase – point to yields close to results of 2010 and 2011 seasons, being so far less affected by dry conditions than wheat.

Sunflower is currently reaching the flowering stage, and the shortage in rainfall – especially in the South – could affect the yield potential during the grain filling period starting in the forthcoming weeks. Summer crops, however, continue their development and no irrigation restrictions are foreseen for the next month.

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