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Record Heatwave Threatens EU Food Security

Record Heatwave Threatens EU Food Security
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By Staff, Agencies

A record heatwave in some of Europe’s key farming regions has put this year’s corn harvest at risk, Bloomberg reported.

Corn crops are in the midst of flowering and adverse weather can lower the number of kernels that ultimately fill with grain. Temperatures in some areas of Europe have reached as high as 47 degrees Celsius, with Spain, France, Greece and Portugal particularly affected.

The EU normally imports large volumes of corn, which is mainly used as animal feed, from Ukraine, but this year the shipments have been constrained by the conflict. According to Bloomberg, this has driven up prices, with Paris corn futures up 11% in July and trading at a record for the time of year. Sunflower and soybean fields are also at risk from the hot, dry conditions, the publication adds.

Europe’s wheat harvest has also been affected by the unusually hot weather. Last week France, the EU’s top wheat exporter, said its soft-wheat output will drop by about 7% this year, to below the five-year average.

This comes amid reduced supplies of wheat and other grains from major producers Russia and Ukraine, amid the ongoing conflict between the countries. Other leading exporters, such as India and Kazakhstan, have restricted or banned their grain exports, citing domestic food security. The developments have triggered warnings of a possible global food crisis.