Global wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast up 3.7 million tons this month to 655.1 million.

Chinese wheat production is up 2.6 million tons to 120.6 million, as that country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently issued its first grain production estimates for 2012 by crop, which, though very much in line with its July estimates for total summer grains, indicated slightly lower area harvested, but higher yields. With wheat area roughly stable, wheat yields in China have been steadily increasing over the last 10 years (though a small drop in yields occurred in 2009/10).

Australian wheat production is projected 1.0 million tons higher at 22.0 million. On December 4, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) issued a new forecast stating that “crops have held up better than expected in many winter cropping regions, given the dry conditions experienced in the past few months.” The main reason for higher than expected wheat yields is apparently still abundant sub-soil moisture reserves in the eastern provinces of Queensland, New South Wales, and parts of Victoria and South Australia.

In Western Australia, sub-soil moisture levels are low, but still better than top-soil levels. Canada’s 2012/13 wheat production is increased 0.5 million tons to 27.2 million this month. The increase is based on a Statistics Canada survey (over 29,000 farmers, from October 26 to November 14), that indicated that favorable harvest weather and lower abandonment resulted in higher than expected harvested area (especially in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, up 18 and 27 percent on the year, respectively) and in larger wheat output.

Wheat production in Brazil is down 0.2 million tons to 4.8 million. Though conditions in Parana, which produces about half of Brazilian wheat, are reported to be good, another major wheatproducing state of Rio Grande de Sul (about a 30-percent share in wheat output) suffered adverse weather conditions in some parts of the state. Frost, hail, and unusually high-intensity rainfall coincided with wheat filling and maturing, while especially heavy precipitation (the latest being on December 5) affected harvesting, causing additional lodging.

A revision of the wheat data series for North Korea this month is based on a special report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program (FAO/WFP).

The mission in October 2012 was allowed and supported by the North Korean Government. The mission was permitted to visit various parts of the country, and was given access to official crop data and other relevant information.

Though the changes are small in absolute terms (for 2010/11 down 0.03 million tons to 0.2 million, for 2011/12 down 0.05 million tons to 0.15 million, and for 2012/13 down 0.1 million tons to 0.1 million), current data better reflect reality, showing much lower yields in the years with adverse weather conditions, such as 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Small adjustments are made for EU-27 (with a slightly lower wheat output in France), Mongolia, and Jordan. For 2011/12, global production is raised 0.4 million tons, based on an upward revision for Australia (0.4 million tons) as recently reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Production for Canada is revised slightly higher based on the latest data from Statistics Canada.