Seed production in EU - 2017

In 2017, the seed production area for field crops in the EU (European Union of 28 Member States) increases by 1.3% with a total of 2 029 930 ha. It seems to have reached a level that has not changed much since 2013. The evolution of areas shows a strong slowdown in Italy, Spain, while French area struggling to go up. Sharp declines are seen in Bulgaria (-11%), Austria (-8%), Croatia (-19%), Slovenia (-14%) and especially in Hungary with a loss of 17% bringing the area to the level of 2015. Conversely, Denmark regains the lost area in 2015 with an increase of 17%. significant increases have been recorded in the Baltic countries (+17%), Ireland (+10%), Poland (+6%) and Czech Republic (+7%). Cypriot area doubled from 620 to 1280 ha.

Major producing countries are France, the first producer with 354 120 ha ahead of Italy (205 070 ha), vegetable and floral seeds not included. In 2017, Spain confirms its 3rd position ahead of Germany, with respectively 185 220 ha and 171 375 ha.

Small grain cereals are the first seed production with 1 040 090 ha in 2017, followed by forage and turf species (446 420 ha), oilseeds that pass in front of the maize for the first time with 142 500 ha, maize (131 060 ha) and potatoes (116 240 ha).

 

Wheat is the first species produced despite a decline in area since 2014. In four years, it has lost 14% to reach 612 335 ha (-7%) in 2017. Soft wheat area reaches 494 600 ha. The decline affects most of countries, but significant increases are seen in Lithuania (+27%), Estonia (+22%) and Portugal (+47%). Top 3 soft wheat seed producing countries in EU are France with 82 370 ha (-7%), Romania (68 440 ha ; -7%) and Germany (51 215 ha ; -3%). The area of durum wheat is reduced by 17% with 117 740 ha. In Italy, leading producer, area fall from 82 000 to 63 275 ha (-23%). Significant declines affect Greece (-33%) and Hungary (-35%) also. Spain and France are in second and third place, with respectively 24 990 ha (-7%) and 13 215 ha (+3%). Barley seed production area reaches 265 990 ha (+1,2%). Spain remains in first place, for the second consecutive year with 42 940 ha (+7%), ahead of France (34 550 ha ; -1%) and Denmark (29 260 ha ; +8%). With Germany, they account for 50% of the EU production. Italy and Greece record an increase of more than 20%.

The corn seed area drops again to reach 131 060 ha (-5%). In France, the leading producer (44% of EU production) and first exporting EU country, the area decrease by 10% to 59 385 ha. The most countries show a decline of area except in Romania (+10%) and Hungary (+2%), the first and second producer, in Poland (+7%), Spain (+9%) and Greece (+33%).

Soybean is the first oilseed species produced in UE despite a decline of area for the third consecutive year to reach 44 015 ha. The decline affects all countries except France (+18%), Croatia (+5%), Slovenia (+35%). Despite a decrease of area (7%), Italy is by far the leader on the market in front of Romania (9 490 ha ; -1%) and Hungary (4 920 ha ; -20%).

Sunflower seeds come behind with 40 970 ha (+30%), followed by rapeseed (forage and oilseed) with 18 590 ha (+7%). For the second consecutive year, sunflower seed production area are booming (+30%). All producing countries record a significant increase, but France remains market leader with 18 060 ha (+33%) ahead of Spain (9 610 ha) and Romania (6 350 ha). Rapeseed seed production area continues to grow substantially in most countries except France (-5%) and Austria (-19%). Nevertheless, France is leader with 9 850 ha followed by Germany (2 600 ha) and Spain (1 890 ha).

The EU area for production of grass and legume seeds has grown significantly since 2012 to 389 170 ha (+19% since 2016). The current trend for legumes made the area increase by 30% to 182 590 ha. Alfalfa, which dominates with 57% of legume seed production (104 950 ha, +19%), is mainly produced in Italy, France and Spain (respectively 41%, 22% and 13% of the EU alfalfa area). Note that Hungary and Romania are not far with respectively 8 585 ha and 8 210 ha (+75%). The production of clover seeds covers 76 800 ha (+34%), in particular red clover (46%), Egyptian clover (23%) and crimson clover (19%). Italy and the Czech Republic are leaders with 19 100 ha (+34%) and 16 700 ha (+56%). France is third with 11 230 ha (+19%).

Grass area increases by 11% to 206 585 ha. Ryegrass area represents 105 780 ha (+8% for perennial, +14% for Italian, +22% for hybrid ryegrass) and fescues reach 53 450 ha (+13%). One third of grass seed area is in Denmark with 69 150 ha (+20%), followed by Germany (24 710 ha, -0,2%) and Poland (22 140 ha, +34% ).

The production area of seed potatoes in the EU increase by 5% to reach 116 240 ha (+5%). The Netherlands dominate the European and international marketplace. The Netherlands are the largest producer in EU with 40 420 ha (+4%). They represent 35% of EU production area. Then come France (20 810 ha, +10%), Germany (16 315 ha, +3%) and the United Kingdom (14 400 ha, +3%).

EU seed exports: On the global market, European exports reached €7,8 Billion in 2017 (+10%), with a trade surplus of €2,2 billion. The Netherlands, France and Germany are the more significant exporting countries with respectively 34%, 21% and 10% of the total EU seed exports in value, all species included. Vegetable is the first exported species (30% of the exports in value), followed by corn (17%) and oilseeds (13%). Exports of vegetables and oilseeds grow by 10% and 21%, respectively. Corn seed exports progressed by 2%.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary note made by GNIS (FR)

 

Seed production in EU - 2017: download the presentation

 


Evolution of seed production area in the EU


EU area for seed production - top 10 producing member states


EU area for seed production by species

 


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