EUROPEAN SUGAR SOWINGS PROGRESS WITH SOME DELAYS DUE TO RAINS
14 апреля 2016 года
LONDON: European sugar beet sowings have progressed in mostly favourable conditions apart from some sporadic interruptions due to rains, growers' groups said.
Larger European Union growers have planted bigger areas than last year in anticipation of market opportunities after EU output quotas end next year.
As part of a reform of the EU's farm policy, member states agreed to liberalise sugar output in 2017 and to abolish minimum sugar beet prices blamed for limiting exports.
French farmers completed most beet plantings in favourable conditions in mid-March, but rain since then has held up field work in most northerly zones, French growers' group CGB said.
Just over 90 percent of the planned area has been planted, CGB director Alain Jeanroy said. But plantings had hardly advanced in the past 10 days due to rain along the north coast.
"The growing season has got off to a good start, except for the 10 percent of plantings that still need to be done," Jeanroy said.
The CGB reiterated that it expected a higher beet area than last year, as sugar producers contract more crop from farmers in anticipation of the end of the EU's sugar quota regime in 2017. The CGB expects France's area to be 400,000-405,000 hectares, up from about 383,000 last year.
In Germany, rains held back some plantings.
"Beet sowings in Germany are progressing in a timespan inside the long-year average but in some regions repeated rain has delayed work," Guenter Tissen of industry group WVZ, said.
"This means that in individual regions there is a delay of a few days compared to last year."
"This year's sown area will almost certainly be larger than last year's, when sowings were significantly reduced following the record production in 2014/15."
Russian farmers have already sown sugar beet on 9 percent of their planned area, according to the country's agriculture ministry.
Yevgeny Ivanov of consultancy IKAR said sowing started earlier than usual due to a warm March, but had slowed down due to exceptionally cold weather in the last seven days.
Beet sowings in Poland were on schedule, Rafal Strachota, deputy director of Polish beet growers' group KZPBC, said.
In Britain, Colm McKay, Agriculture Director, British Sugar, said, "We are making progress with drilling with well over 50 percent of the crop completed."
In Italy, plantings had proceeded well, with some interruptions in the north due to rain and the growing area was expected to be slightly lower this year, Iole Byloos of growers' group ANB said.
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