Record-high world wheat production projected

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Global production for 2013/14 is up 7.6 million tons this month to 705.4 million as increases for the EU and FSU, as well as smaller increases for Canada, India, and Turkey, swamp reductions for Argentina, and Brazil.

Wheat production prospects for the United States are nearly unchanged. As projected, global wheat output would top the 2011/12 record by more than 8 million tons.

Wheat production for the EU, the world’s largest producer, is up 2.8 million tons this month to 141.4 million. The largest increase is projected for Spain, up 0.8 million tons to 7.7 million, which brings the country’s wheat yield to record high.

This past winter and spring Spain enjoyed a combination of very favorable precipitation and temperatures, and the wheat harvest there already has been completed. Overall good conditions in July, mostly warmer and drier weather in northern Europe, resulted in rapid wheat maturation and benefited countries from Ireland and the United Kingdom to France, Germany, and Poland — the major EU wheat producers.

Higher wheat production was also reported for Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, where hot weather was beneficial for wheat harvesting, with a smaller increase for Lithuania.

Partly offsetting within the EU, yield prospects were slightly trimmed for Denmark, Austria, and Greece. Wheat production prospects in the FSU increased 4.7 million tons this month to 107.0 million, nearly 30 million tons higher than last year. For Kazakhstan, projected wheat production is up 2.5 million tons this month to 17.0 million.

Record-high precipitation levels in Akmola and better-than-average precipitation in the North Kazakhstan region (two of the country’s three major wheat-producing regions), combined with the moderate temperatures, have generated excellent growing conditions in the country.

An outstanding satellite vegetation index approaching the one in 2011 — which set a historical record for Kazakhstan wheat yield — fully supports this increase. Ukraine’s wheat production prospects are increased 2.0 million tons this month to 21.5 million. Despite a late spring that abruptly switched to dryness in the southern and eastern parts of the country, reports indicate high wheat yields, with already about 95 percent of wheat being harvested. However, the crop’s quality has been reduced by rain during harvest, with the estimated share of feed-quality wheat at 60 percent (20 percent last year), which increases the premium for milling-quality wheat.

Moldova, located at the southwestern border of Ukraine, has been enjoying excellent precipitation, and according to the latest harvest reports, is set to produce 1.0 million tons of wheat, up 0.2 million.

Russian projected wheat production is unchanged this month at 54.0 million. The winter wheat harvest is close to completion in the South and North Caucasus Districts, and in about two-thirds of the Central District — the major winter wheat growing regions — with reported strong yields, about 30 percent higher than last year.

Also, spring wheat growing conditions have been outstanding in most of Siberia, with ample timely rains and moderate temperatures. The exception is the area in the southern Urals that has been suffering from excessive dryness since mid-July, though even this region also recently started to receive much needed precipitation.

Persistent rains in parts of the Central and Volga Districts have disrupted harvesting and could affect quality and, in some cases, even the volume of wheat production Canadian 2013/14 wheat production is projected up 0.5 million tons to 29.5 million this month, reflecting the positive impact of beneficial weather — abundant rains and favorably cool temperatures — for wheat development across the Prairies States of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta, where wheat is in its filling stage.

These States produce 97 percent of Canadian spring wheat. As wheat development in Canada is delayed this year, the risks of early frosts that could impact wheat yields could be considered above average. Because of the moisture that is expected to boost wheat yields, wheat quality could be lower than average.

India’s wheat production for 2013/14 was increased 0.5 million tons this month to 92.5 million, based on revised government estimates. Most of the crop was harvested months ago, and the government estimate should be close to the final number. In Turkey, where the wheat harvest has been completed earlier than usual and was helped by warm harvest weather, wheat production is increased 0.4 million tons to 18.0 million.

Moderate temperatures, a sufficient amount of rain in the rain-fed areas, and good irrigation supplies reportedly resulted in excellent wheat yields, though grain quality is reportedly quite low. Increases in 2013/14 wheat output are partly offset by a reduction in prospects for Argentina. Government interventions in wheat exports have been detrimental to wheat producers’ planting incentives.

In a populist attempt to keep bread prices low, the Government has brought wheat exports to a standstill, and threatened wheat stockholders to revive an obsolete 1974 anti-hoarding law (which involves the confiscation of existing wheat stocks and imprisonment), as well as ordering exporters to sell wheat marked for exports to local markets.

These developments happened right in the middle of the wheat planting window in Argentina, where planting starts in the northern parts of the country at the beginning of May and moves toward the south, ending in August in the largest wheat-producing Buenos Aires region.

Despite good planting conditions in the south, uncertainty about government interventions and export policy caused a drop in the projected area partly in favor of barley. Barley is not covered by the government regulations, and can also be rotated with soybeans. Wheat planting is almost complete, with some additional area still to be planted in the south of the country.

Wheat harvested area in Argentina for 2013/14 is projected down 0.3 million hectares this month, with production down 1.0 million tons, to 12.0 million.

Projected 2013/14 wheat output is also reduced for Brazil, down 0.2 million tons to 4.8 million, or by 4 percent. Frosts in late July affected between 9 and 15 percent of wheat area in Parana (or 4-7 percent of the country’s total wheat area, Parana being the country’s largest wheatproducing state) during the flowering stage of the reproductive period, and are expected to have a corresponding impact on yields. Small adjustments in (already harvested 2013/14) wheat production are also made for Bangladesh and Mexico.

Source: Wheat Outlook

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