A new market observatory for crops was launched on 20 July to bring greater transparency and analysis to a key sector for European agriculture.
The crops sector is the latest to benefit from an observatory, following sugar, meat and milk. The European Commission created the observatories to help the European agriculture sector to cope more effectively with market volatility and ensure more transparency by sharing market data and short-term analysis.
The crops market observatory consists of 14 organisations represented by 23 individual market experts from different stages in the grains supply chain (farmers, traders, first processing industry, second processing industry). This board of market experts will meet twice a year, chaired by the Commission. The dedicated website for the observatory includes a wide range of market data (on production, trade, prices, etc.) that will be regularly updated and analysed to help farmers and traders manage their business.
Speaking at the launch of the observatory, agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan highlighted the significance of the EU crops market: "With a production of more than 300 million tonnes of cereals, 30 million tonnes of oilseeds and five million tonnes of protein crops, the EU crops sector is essential to European agriculture," he said. Cereals are also the most important contributor to EU exports of primary agricultural products, Hogan added. On average the EU exports more than 40 million tonnes of cereals every year, corresponding to an export value of more than €10 billion.
The first meeting of the crops market observatory focused on the structure and functioning of the observatory, as well as discussing a preliminary analysis of the crops sector and defining a work programme and priorities.