Key competitors’ wheat production boosted this month

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Global wheat production forecast for 2011/12 soared 5.7 million tons this month to 689.0 million, to exceed the record of 2009/10 by 3.5 million tons and surpassing the global record yield of 2008/09 by 0.07 tons/hectare. Australian 2011/12 wheat production is projected 2.3 million tons higher this month at 28.3 million, the largest wheat crop in the country’s history.

Wheat production for the previous 2010/11 crop year is also revised up 1.9 million tons to 27.9 million, the second-highest on record. Both the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) raised their forecasts for the current 2011/12 and the previous year 2010/11 crop years, stating that the record crop in 2011/12 is being driven by a recovery from the 2010/11 drought in Western Australia.

That State produces on average just about 40 percent of Australia’s wheat, but its share of wheat output in 2010/11 fell to less than 20 percent. This year, Western Australia is on track to produce more than 10 million tons of higher quality wheat that is conveniently located for export. The eastern states of the country also have been enjoying better-than-average weather conditions, and all states are forecast to produce ample (although not record) wheat crops. However, protein levels are reportedly below normal as a result of heavy rainfall in November during the harvest.

Argentina’s wheat production projected for 2011/12 and estimated for 2009/10 and 2010/11 are increased this month, boosting the country’s wheat supplies. Argentine 2011/12 wheat production is projected up 1.5 million tons to 14.5 million, with both area and yield higher. Area planted to wheat is projected up 0.4 million hectares, as it appears area has expanded in the northwestern part of Argentina. The harvest is almost complete in the northern part of the country (a minor wheat-producing region), is in full swing in the center of the country, and is starting in the south. Harvest results, though mixed, indicate on average better-than-expected yields comparable with those in 2009/10, but lower than last year. Harvest weather forecasts for the major wheat-producing region of Cordoba and southern part of Buenos Aires are favorable.

Wheat production estimates for 2009/10 and 2010/11 are increased 1.0 and 0.6 million tons to 12.0 and 16.1 million, respectively, based on indicated use. Export-shipments data and millgrind statistics point to higher production than reported by Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture. Wheat yields for 2009/10 and 2010/11 are left unchanged, while area is rounded up 0.35 and 0.2 million hectares, respectively.

Canadian production is increased 1.1 million tons to 25.3 million. The increase is based on the latest Statistics Canada survey that indicated record yields on improved harvesting conditions due to favorably sunny and dry late season weather in November. Farmers across the country reported that hot, sunny weather during the summer helped them recover from a damp and late spring. Record wheat yields were reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the major Canadian wheat-producing provinces, which together produced more than 80 percent of Canada’s wheat crop this year. Durum wheat contributed significantly to the year-to-year growth in total wheat production. Statistics Canada estimated durum output at 2.1 million tons, up 1.2 million tons in 2011/12, or 40 percent on the year.

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