PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - The European Commission on Thursday sharply cut its monthly forecast for this year's cereals harvests in the bloc with usable production of common wheat now seen 2.6 million tons lower than last month at 128.9 million metric tons.
The sharp drop in its wheat crop supply outlook led the Commission to cut its projected stocks on June 30, 2024 to 20.5 million tons, from 23.9 million previously.
In supply and demand data, it kept unchanged its estimate of EU wheat exports in 2023/24 at 32.0 million tons, up from an estimated 31.0 million in 2022/23.
In contrast, the Commission raised its outlook for wheat stocks at the end of the 2022/23 season ending this Thursday to 20.6 million tons from 19.9 million seen last month as it increased its import estimate.
For maize, the Commission cut its projection for the 2023 maize usable production to 63.7 million tons, from 64.1 million previously while keeping imports unchanged at 17.0 million tons.
But it increased its estimate of EU maize imports in 2022/23 by 1 million tons to 25.5 million tons. The sharp drop in output last year had prompted buyers to turn to the external market for supplies.
The 2023 barley usable production was now expected at 49.7 million tons, down from 52.0 million estimated last month.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Gus Trompiz, Louise Heavens and David Evans)
((Sybille.deLaHamaide@thomsonreuters.com; +336 8774 4148;))
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