Seed production in EU - 2016

In 2016, seed production area in the EU[1] increases by 2% and catches up 2014 level with a total of 2 018 890 ha. This development is due to a strong growth in Italy (+14%), Hungary (+20%), Spain (+8%) and Greece (+59%), limiting losses from Denmark (-16%), Poland(-10%) and Bulgaria (-9%).

Major producing countries remain the same each year: France is the first producer with 348 660 ha ahead Italy (212 000 ha), vegetable and floral seeds not included. In 2016, Spain production area exceed Germany, with respectively 181 850 ha and 173 460 ha.

Cereals are the first seed production with 1 078 415 ha in 2016, followed by forage and turf species (418 135ha), corn (138 130 ha), oilseeds (137 600 ha), potatoes (107 760 ha).

[1] European Union of 28 Member States 

Grains : With 658 685 ha (+0.3%), wheat is the first species produced (-4% for soft wheat), (+23% for durum wheat). Top 3 soft wheat seed producing countries in EU are France (88 600 ha), Romania (73 500 ha) and Germany (52 600 ha). The area of durum wheat continues to grow strongly in all producing countries, in particular, in Hungary (+88%), Germany (+84%) and Greece (+63%). Italy and Spain are the first durum wheat seed producers, with respectively 58% (82 000 ha) and 20% (26 950 ha) of the EU production.

Barley seed production areas reach 264 100 ha(-10%). Spain production now exceed France. With Germany and Denmark, they account for 50% of the EU production. 

Corn : After a decrease in 2015, the corn seed area in EU grows by 1.25% in 2016 to reach 138 130 ha. In France, the leading producer (50% of EU production) and first exporting EU country, the area decreases by 8% to 65 940 ha. One third of EU production is located in Hungary and Romania (more than 20 000 ha each), where the surfaces rise again, respectively by 13% and 22%. 

Oilseeds Since 2015, soybean is the first oilseed species produced in UE despite the area declines of 11% to 46 560 ha. One quarter of the production is in Italy (12 000 ha), followed by Romania (9 560 ha) and Hungary (6 330 ha). The decrease significantly affects Hungary (-23%), France (-25%), Poland (-58%) and Bulgaria (-88%).

Sunflower seeds come behind with more than 30 000 ha (+20%), followed by rapeseed with 17 500 ha (+4%). France is the first producer of rapeseed, with 60% of the EU production area (10 400 ha) and of sunflower seed, with 25% of the EU area (13 575 ha). Other main producers of sunflower seeds are Spain (9 000 ha) and Romania,whose area has jumped from 98% to 5140 ha. 

Forage and turf The EU areas for production of grass and legume seeds reach 373 040 ha (+15% since 2015), grasses and legumes in equal proportion. The current trend for legumes made the seed area increases by 26% to 185 980 ha. Alfalfa, which dominates with 23% of the branch production (90 660 ha, +36%), is mainly produced in Italy, France and Spain (respectively 40%, 21% and 16% of the EU alfalfa surface). Note that Hungary is nor far with 9 230 ha, an increase of 47%. The production of clover seeds covers 58 560 ha (+16%). Italy and the Czech Republic are leaders with 14 300 ha (-2%) and 12 220 ha (+30%).

Grass area increases by 5% to 187 060 ha. Ryegrass surfaces represent 95 374 ha (-5% for perennial, +15% for Italian, -16% for hybrid ryegrass) and fescues reach 47 525 ha (+5%). One third of grasses surfaces are in Denmark with 57 700ha (-19% since 2013), followed by Germany (24 750 ha) and Poland (16 500 ha, +46% since 2012). 

Potatoes The production area of seed potatoes in the EU is quite stable with 112 000 ha (+1%). The Netherlands dominate the European and international marketplace. The Netherlands are the largest producer in EU with 40 180 ha (+3%). They represent 36% of EU production surface. Then come France (18 950 ha, stable), Germany (15 910 ha, +1%) and the United Kingdom (14 030 ha, +2%). 

 

EU seed exports : On the global market, European exports reach €6.6 Mrd in 2016 (+10%), with a trade surplus of more than €1.7 Mrd. The Netherlands, France and Germany are the more significant exporting countries with respectively 30%, 24% and 11% of the total EU seed exports in value, all species included. Vegetable is the first exported species (32% of the exports in value), followed by corn (20%) and oilseeds (12%). Exports of vegetables and oil seeds grow by 20% and 26%, respectively, while exports of maize seed remain stable. 

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

 

Seed production in EU - 2017: download the presentation

 

 


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