Seed production in EU - 2019

In 2019, the areas for the production of field seeds within the European Union increased by 2,2 % to 2 123 710 ha (vegetable and floral seeds not included). France is the first seed producer country with 356 840 ha (+0,4 %). Germany comes in second place with 195 000 ha thanks to a 10 % increase in its areas, while Italy is down by 5% in third place with 191 250 ha. The trend is generally upward for a large majority of countries.

Cereals are the first seed production with 1 074 340 ha (+ 2,2%). Common wheat represents almost half of the area with 505 880 ha, followed by barley 289 185 ha and durum wheat (96 170 ha). While France is the leader in common wheat with 73 690 ha, Spain dominates the barley market (46 860 ha) and Italy the durum wheat market (50 520 ha).

The corn seeds production area continues to increase significantly (+8,5 %) to reach 151 420. In France, the leading producer (46 % of EU area) and first world exporting country, the area increases by 15 % to 69 725 ha. Its main competitors, Romania and Hungary, recorded an increase of 8% to 25 760 ha and 3% to 25 590 ha respectively. The top three producing countries account for 80 % of the European area in corn seed production.

Oilseed area remains stable at 134 160 ha. This situation results from a strong disparity between the species. The sunflower shows a significant decrease of 14 % to 41 955 ha, giving the first place to soybean whose area reaches 42 335 ha (+2.3%). Oilseed rape continues to follow sustained growth (+ 21%) to reach 29 090 ha. Italy is the leader in soybean seeds production with 10 860 ha ahead of Romania and France. This one dominates in sunflower with 19 105 ha before Spain (9 780 ha) and Romania (6 530 ha), as well as in rapeseed (16 580 ha) before Germany and Spain whose areas total 3 930 ha and 2 990 ha respectively. It should be noted, however, that France produces a lot of rapeseed seeds as a subcontractor for its German neighbor.

Forage area remains stable at 190 810 ha, but accounts for 23 % of EU seed production. Denmark is the market leader with 95 890 ha (+ 8%), followed by Italy (60 980 ha; -9%) and Poland (49 910 ha; + 3%). If we look more closely, we can see that this vast market is in fact divided between Denmark, which dominates the market for forage grasses with 92 035 ha, Italy that of legumes with small seeds (53,085 ha), Hungary that of crucifers (13,850 ha) and finally, Spain that of large seed legumes with 25 640 ha (mainly vetches).

Alfalfa, dominates the forage legume market despite a 19% drop in area to 84 700 ha. This species is mainly produced in Italy, France and Spain (respectively 34 %, 25 % and 16 % of the EU area). The production of clover seeds covers 74 040 ha (-8 %), in particular red clover (41 %), Egyptian clover (29 %) and crimson clover (17,5 %). Italy and the Czech Republic are leaders with 23 955 ha (+11 %) and 13 590 ha (+4 %). France is third with 7 330 ha (-39 %). Vetch seed production area continues to decline (-10 %). The common vetch represents 89 %, 22 620 ha. Spain is by far the leading producer of vetch seeds with 13 300 ha, followed by Greece (3 160 ha), Italy (2 450 ha) and France (2 265 ha). Forage grasses area increases by 8 % to 244 510 ha. Ryegrass area represents 1398 770 ha (+19 % for perennial, +11 % for Italian, +11 % for hybrid ryegrass) and fescues area reaches 57 700 ha (-15,5 %), mainly red fescue (55 %) and tall fescue (27 %).

The potatoes seeds production area increases again to reach 122 630 ha (+6 %).

The Netherlands dominate the European and international marketplace. They are the largest producers in EU with 42 030 ha (+5 %). They represent 34 % of EU production area. Then come France (22 525 ha, +4 %), Germany (18 000 ha, +7 %) and the United Kingdom (14 045 ha, 0 %).

 

On the global market, European exports reached €8,3 Billion in 2019 (+4 %), with a trade surplus of €2,2 billion (+3 %). The Netherlands, France and Germany are the more significant exporting countries with respectively 36 %, 21 % and 9 % of the total EU seed exports in value, all species included. Vegetables[1] are the first exported species group (33 % of the exports in value), followed by corn (17 %) and oilseeds (13 %). Exports increase by 3% for vegetable seeds and remain stable for oilseeds. Corn seed and fodder seeds exports progress by 13 % and by 14% respectively.

[1] Pulses included

 

Summary note made by GNIS (FR)

 

"Seed production in EU - 2019: download the presentation"

 


Evolution of seed production area in the European Union


E.U. area for seed production by country


E.U. area for seed production by species

 


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