Seed production in EU

The European surfaces of seed production stabilised in 2014 show a slight decline (-1%) to reach 2 003 000 ha[1] in 2015. This reflects a strong disparity of evolution between countries. The decrease is particularly strong in Romania (-15%), in Hungary (-16%), in United Kingdom (-15%), in Croatia (-29%) and in Greece (-18%). Conversely, the growth is significant in Poland (+23%), Italy (+10%), Lithuania (+32%) and Latvia (+31%). In France, the main producer of seeds in EU, surfaces decrease 4% to 353 173 ha.

The groups of species most affected by the surface decline are cereals (-4%), maize (-34%) and grasses(-37%). Only pulses and fiber plants show a growth of 47% and 38% respectively.Oilseeds increase by 1%.

Cereals are the first seed production in EU[2] with 1 100 075 ha in 2015, a production of more than 4 400 000 tons in 2014 followed by grasses / forage species (384 090 ha), oilseeds (137 310 ha), maize (136 080 ha), potato (112 540 ha) and pulses (102 720 ha). France is the main producer of seeds with 353 170 ha ahead Italy (199 210 ha) and Germany (178 775 ha), vegetable not included.

 

 

Grains and corn : With 541 100 ha, wheat is the first species produced despite a decline of the surface by 4%. 53% of the soft wheat seeds production in EU are covered by Germany and France; 2 017300 tons in 2014. Then comes barley with 484 065 ha, down 8%. Germany, France and Denmark account for 50% of the barley seeds production in EU with1 026 760 tons in 2014. Conversely, the durum wheat area increase by 4% to 131 070 ha. The crop grows significantly in most countries, but especially in Italy, the leader in the production of durum wheat with 69 610 ha (+5%), but also in Spain (+7%) and Slovakia (+79%). In France, second producer, surfaces decrease by 2% to 24 330 ha. The Greek surfaces show a decline of 18% to 7 130 ha.

After four years of strong growth, the surfaces in production of corn seeds fall by 34% following adecrease in cultivated areas in most countries. In 2015, they reach 136 060 ha. All countries show a decline of surfaces except Poland with3 623 ha (+22%) and Greece with 44 ha (+4%). The largest decreases are observed in France (-25 500 ha), in Hungary (-18 450 ha) and in Romania (-17 955 ha), the three main producers in EU.

France is the largest corn seeds producer in EU (70 870 ha) and the First exportingcountry in the international marketplace.  

Oilseeds : For the first time, the soybean becomes the first oilseed species produced in UE with 52 835 ha,64% more than in 2014. The sunflower comes behind with 25 050 ha followed by rapeseed with 17 090 ha.

The production of soybean seeds shows remarkable growth across all countries. The largest increase is observed in Romania. The surfaces progress from 1 970 ha to 8 195 ha. In Hungary, they earn 76% to 8 225 ha and in Bulgaria, marginal in 2014 (50 ha), they reach 2 350 ha. Italy stays the first soybean producer in UE with 12 050 ha followed by Hungary, Romania and France (5 500 ha).

The decrease in sunflower seeds production surfaces is accentuated in 2015 to reach 25 050 ha, -26% (-22% in 2014). All countries have a production down, but particularly Italy (-62%), Hungary (-50%) and Romania (-40%). France, the first producer, loses 25% of surfaces to 11 560 ha.

Rape sis not spared. The surfaces were down 27% to reach 17 090 ha. The decrease affects most countries of the EU, but particularly Germany (-51%), Hungary (-49%) and France (-20%). France is the main rape seeds producer with 10 355 habefore Germany with 1 840 ha. 

Forage : Since 2012, the areas of forage seed production continue to grow. In 2015, the total is 384 075 ha (+14%). 49% of the surface are grasses with 188 486 ha (+2%). Ryegrass and fescue dominate forage production with 106 080 ha (-1%) and 45 940 ha (+7%) respectively. Denmark is the main producer of grass seeds with 70 910 ha (38%), followed by Germany with 24 215 ha (13%), Poland with 14 910 ha (8%) and Netherlands with 13275 ha (7%).

The share of small-seeded legumes increases by 29% to 34% to reach 129 440 ha (+34%).The surfaces greatly progress for alfalfa and clovers. With 75 115 ha (+44%), alfalfa is the first species produced, followed by red clover with 23 500 ha(+22%) and Egyptian clover with 14 680 ha (+16%). 43% of alfalfa surfaces in EU are in Italy and 18% in Spain, just before France (17%). France and Republic Czech are the main producers of red clover seeds with 5 505 ha (23%) and 5463 ha (23%) respectively before Sweden (2 900 ha), Poland (2 745 ha) and Germany (2 510 ha). Italy is the leader for the Egyptian clover seeds production. The surfaces earn 17% to 14 544 ha.

In large seeded legumes, vetch is the main species produced and the surfaces continue to rise (+8%) to 29 792 ha. 66% are located in Spain with 19 607 ha (+34%). Italy comes second with 2 735 ha, followed by France (1 950 ha), Hungary(1 590 ha) and Poland where the area has doubled to 1 560 ha. 

Pulses : Production of pulse seeds represents 102 720 ha (+47%). The main species produced are field pea (56 715 ha) followed by field bean (27 940 ha) and lupine (13 680 ha). All species show a significantly growth due to the implementation of development programs cultures of protein crops. The Czech Republic is leader for peas (9 740 ha) ahead France (8 615 ha) and Germany (6 160 ha). For field bean, United Kingdom is the main producer (8 045 ha) before Italy (3 480 ha) and France (3 200 ha). The production of lupine seeds is mainly carried by Poland with 10 030 ha (+87%), 73% of the EU surfaces 

Sugar beets : In 2015, the surfaces of sugar beet seeds production in EU again fall significantly by 20% to 6 756 he following the decline in cultivated area.
France and Italy are the main producers with 3 905 ha (-3,5%) and 2 320 ha (-33%) respectively. 

Potatoes : The production areas of seed potatoes increase by 3% and totalise 112 540 ha. The Netherlands dominate the European and international marketplace. They are the largest seed potato producer in EU with 40 120 ha (36% of EU surface) and the main exporting country in the world. France is the main competitor country with 18 970 ha followed by Germany (15 710 ha) and United Kingdom (13 760 ha). In Spain, the production became non-existent last year, jumped to reach 2 265 ha in 2015. 

 

Thanks to the seed sector dynamism, the European exports reach €6.0 Mrd (-0,8%) in 2015 and 61% for the European market. With €4.5 Mrd imported, the EU realises a trade surplus of €1.46 Mrd. 

 

[1] Vegetable not included

[2]  European Union of 28 Member States 


EU SEED PRODUCTION AREAS


TOP 7 EU PRODUCING MEMBER STATES


EVOLUTION OF SEED PRODUCTIONS IN EU

 


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