Large Changes in Main Crop Areas in the EU in 2008

According to Eurostat estimates and those submitted by the Member States in early June, the area under cereals is expected to increase by 5.7% compared with 2007. This is certainly a response to the very high producer price increases for cereals observed in 2007 and the beginning of 2008, due to an imbalance between supply and demand for cereals worldwide. Durum wheat shows a large increase of 12.6%.

In contrast, the rapeseed area decreases (-3.1%) for the first time since 2003, but by different rates across Member States. There is possibly a partial shift from rapeseed area to cereal area. The area under protein crops, of which peas represents almost half, continue its negative trend (-13.4% for peas area between 2007 and 2008 and -35.5 % over the past five years). The sugar beet area again shows a reduction (-6.8%).