Ups and downs of sweet corn
The consequences of this year's weather conditions will be felt by sweet corn producers in Poland and other countries. However, the variations in yield will be mainly dependent on the geographical location of the farm. The situation in the South of Poland is fundamentally different from that in Zachodniopomorskie or Pomorskie voivodeships.
Poorer harvest in Poland…
According to Polish Association of Cereal Manufacturers (PZPRZ), about 4-4.5 million tonnes of sweet corn were harvested last year. This year's harvest is forecast to be smaller by 1 million tonnes. The fall has resulted from unfavorable weather conditions, with a very long winter this year. The issue concerns mainly the centrally-located regions (Mazowieckie, Łódzkie, Lubelskie, Świętokrzyskie voivodeships), but farmers in the South of Poland have fewer reasons to worry, as the vegetation period is longer there, which influences the volume of the yield favorably.
German experts estimate that in the whole EU (including Croatia), as many as 67 million tonnes of sweetcorn will be harvested, that is 8 million tonnes more than in the previous year. Forecast of a record-high harvest refer to Romania, where almost 11 million tonnes will be picked, or nearly double as much as in the previous year. Similar growth is expected in Hungary, where the harvest is to reach 8.3 million tonnes (as compared to 4.7 m in 2012). A drop is forecast in France and Italy, owing to poor weather conditions. Yield is forecast at 14.8 million tonnes (2012 – 15.6 m) and 8 million tonnes (2012 – 8.2 m) respectively.
Prices are falling
The influence of weather conditions on crop efficiency and the length of the vegetation period has also made an impact on the purchase prices of sweetcorn: c. 830 PLN/ton in the North and c. 710 PLN/ton in the North. The average purchase price quoted on MATIF Exchange is less than 720 PLN/ton, while at the same time in 2012, the average purchase price of corn was over 1000 PLN/ton. In the EU, in July the average purchase price per ton was c. 210 EUR (in 2012: c. 270 EUR/t), and globally – 290 USD/t.