The wheat crop will fall to 5.2 million tons in 2017, down from the record high 5.7 million tons in the previous years, agricultural minister Rumen Porozhanov declared, quoted by local media. Recent hailstorms might decrease wheat output even more, he said. The agricultural ministry estimates showed that 118,000da of wheat, sunflower, corn and rapeseed have been completely destroyed as of Jul 5 due to hailstorms. The ministry will provide financial aid to the farmers with destroyed or affected crops, the minister pledged without concrete details on the exact amount to be paid from the budget. So far 251 farmers claimed financial assistance for 158,000 da, Porozhanov said.
On the positive side, the quality of the wheat crop this year will be the best in decades, the minister added. The projected average wheat harvest is 476 kg per da, up by 6.0%, and the projected average barley crop is 446 kg per da, up by 7.0%. The total barley crop will reach 600,000 tons, lower than the 698,000 tons harvested in 2016.
The wheat selling price on the stock exchange will rise by USD7 to USD8 y/y, Vassil Simov, executive director of the Sofia stock exchange, said.