Yields of key crops in Europe will be sharply down this year owing to heatwaves and droughts, exacerbating theimpacts of the Ukraine war on food prices.
Maize, sunflower and soya bean yields are forecast by the EU to drop by about 8% to 9% due to hot weather across the continent. Supplies of cooking oil and maize were already under pressure, as Ukraine is a major producer and its exports have been blocked by Russia.
Large parts of Europe have been afflicted by drought and hot weather in recent weeks, including Spain, southern France, central and northern Italy, central Germany, northern Romania and eastern Hungary. Cereal yields are down about 2% overall, compared with the five-year average. Drought and heat stress in many regions coincided with the flowering stage for key crops, and water reservoirs in many places are at levels too low to meet the demand for irrigation.