ENGLAND—Grain trade association COCERAL raised its third forecast for 2022 grain crop production in the European Union and UK, to 309.5 million tons from its 305.6 million March estimate.

COCERAL’s outlook for EU and UK market barley production in 2022 is positive, with a forecast of 60 million tons slightly higher than the 59.4 million tons produced last year.

COCERAL is the European Union representing trade in grains, rice, feed, oilseeds, olive oil, oils, fats and agricultural products.

According to data from the Brussels-based organization, corn yields in the EU and UK are expected to reach 66 million tons in 2022.

Total rapeseed yields are expected to reach 19.5 million tons. This compares well to the crop trade lobbying harvest of 19.3 million tons in March and 18.5 million tons of rapeseed last year.

Excluding durum, wheat production is expected to reach 143 million tons, higher than the previous estimate of 141.3 million tons—notably due to beneficial rainfall in Spain— but slightly lower than last year’s 143.9 million tons.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that about 20 million tons of wheat are harvested in Ukraine.

The European Commission said it would work with EU governments to help Ukraine export millions of tons of grain by rail, road and river to bypass Russia’s Black Sea port blockade which has been in place since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The head of the European Commission also accused Russia of weaponizing its food supply as a weapon. Russia is now stockpiling its food exports as a form of blackmail to trade wheat in exchange for political support, fueling a global food crisis.

Meanwhile, US corn and wheat futures fell in the middle of the week on reports that Russia could once again allow grain to leave Ukrainian ports, Reuters reported.

Interfax news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying, Russia is prepared to set up a humanitarian route to allow food-carrying ships to leave Ukraine in exchange for lifting some sanctions.

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