Key crop yields in the European Union (EU) will drop sharply this year due to heatwaves and droughts, according to new data published by the EU’s Joint Research Centre reported by The Guardian.

Maize, soyabean and sunflower yields were forecast to decline by about 8-9% due to hot weather across the EU, the July edition of the Monitoring Agriculture Resources (MARS) Bulletin report said.

Supplies of cooking oil and maize were already under pressure due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent blockade of its ports by Russia, according to the 27 July report.

Large parts of Europe have been hit by drought conditions and heatwaves during June and July, The Guardian wrote, including Spain, southern France, central and northern Italy, central Germany, northern Romania and eastern Hungary.

Drought and heat stress in many regions had coincided with the flowering stage for key crops, and water reservoirs in many places were at levels too low to meet the demand for irrigation, the MARS report said.

The report noted that little could be done to reverse the impact, as hot, dry conditions continued to dominate, AgriCensus reported on 25 July.

However, favourable conditions for crops prevailed in the Baltic Sea region, the report said.