The European Commission (EC) has cut its forecast of EU sunflower production in 2017 primarily due to lower-than-expected yields from Southeast European producers.

In June, the EC estimated EU production to reach more than 9M tonnes but, in July, it reduced the forecast to 8.7M tonnes, the German oil and protein plant association Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) said in a statement on 9 August.

However, the lowered forecast would still be up 33,000 tonnes from the yield in 2016.

Based on data from Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI), the French harvest would reach a slightly higher level than in 2016, but it would not be enough to compensate for lower production in Bulgaria, Romania and Spain.

Sunflower planted area rose 1.3% from 2016, but actual output would grow only 0.4% in 2017 due to excessively hot and dry conditions in southern and eastern Europe in June.