The European Union (EU) has cut its annual sunflower seed harvest forecast from the one published in September due to unfavourable weather conditions impacting on the crop.

The earlier projection of 9.2M tonnes was lowered to 9M tonnes in November, although the EU’s sunflower seed output would still be up 0.54M tonnest from 2016, German oilseed and protein plant association UFOP said in a statement on 8 November.

Yields were up to 20% better than last year’s in several producer countries, but the increase in parts of Europe could not offset the loss of production in Romania and Hungary.

In Romania, this season’s output was forecast at 2.2M tonnes, which was still 300,000 tonnes higher than that in 2016, but lagged behind the 2.4M tonne projection from September, according to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft.

Excessively dry and hot weather in July and August had a significant negative impact on the sunflower crop in several southern and eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

The total EU sunflower output was expected to exceed 2016 production by approximately 6.4%, even when total cultivated area increased by only 3.7%.