EU Maize Seeds: Strong Demand, but Declining Available Supply

The French National Federation of Maize and Sorghum Seed Production (the F.N.P.S.M.S.) has recently updated its data regarding maize seed uses and resources on the European market, thus integrating the aggregated results of the 2019/20 marketing year and the first production trends for 2020. The record increases in areas planted to grain, and feed, maize – witnessed throughout Europe in the spring of 2020 – have been followed by unparalleled levels of maize seed production. On the other hand, the first production estimates for 2020/21 indicate that yields have been impacted by several weather factors. As a result, tensions might be noticed for some hybrids during the next marketing season, especially since maize area is expected to remain high in 2021.

• Seed Production Impacted in 2020 Despite a 16-percent increase in the European seed maize areas in 2020, the crops have been affected by difficult weather this summer: unfavourable conditions at the time of emergence, strong heat waves with record highs in August and September, and drought – all of which have prevented producers from attaining their targets for this season.

• Production: Below Expectations in France… France – the first European maize seed producer – should attain nearly 90 percent of its production targets, off an area of 80 000 hectares.

• …and in Other Countries Weather conditions have been difficult in other European maize production countries, too, in 2020, leading to below-target production levels in Hungary (90-95 percent) and Romania (75-80 percent).

• Lower Supply, Despite a Strong Demand Maize demand was strong during the 2020 grain and feed maize plantings and impacted the carry-over stocks. Likely production deficits in 2020 should prevent stock rebuilding, which had been envisaged on account of a 16- percent increase in the European production program. As to the use of maize seed from the next season, several developments point to a higher demand in 2021: difficult rapeseed plantings in some of the major European producing countries; the need to rebuild feed stocks against the backdrop of drought, and the ongoing genetic progress made in the field of maize, with forty-six new hybrids included in the French catalogue in 2020. Despite the strong demand, maize seed production has been affected by unfavourable weather. As a result, the supply may be under significant tension for some maize hybrids. To Pierre Pagès, head of the F.N.P.S.M.S., “In this complicated weather context, the entire maize industry has come together to help maintain the high quality level of our seeds, which characterises French production and enables us to be the top maize producers and exporters in Europe”.


Press contact person: Justine Navarro – Communication - – Phone: 06 12 22 32 02 The F.N.P.S.M.S. (National Federation of Maize and Sorghum Seed Production) is a French interprofessional and agricultural organisation whose members are, on the one hand, the unions of maize and sorghum seed multiplication growers and on the other hand, the seed companies producing in France.


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