World wheat production prospects boosted further
August also brought further improvement in the United Kingdom (UK), where wheat area is at a 30-year low after an exceptionally wet autumn reduced planted area. The wheat crop in the UK is about 50 percent harvested, wheat yields are slightly below the 5-year average, and output is projected this month up 0.2 million tons to 12.1 million. Wheat production expectations continue to improve for the countries in the eastern EU, namely Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland, up from 0.1-0.3 million tons each. A tiny increase is made for the Czech Republic. In neighboring Serbia (not an EU member), official government reports suggest a 0.2- million-ton increase in wheat production.
Wheat production is expected to be higher in Ukraine, up 0.5 million tons to 22.0 million, as indicated by the latest harvest reports. In Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, the two other countries of the Asian part of the Former Soviet Union block (FSU- 12), wheat production is projected up 0.4 and 0.1 million tons, respectively, based on the countries’ Ministries of Agriculture reports.
The wheat production forecast is up 0.2 million tons for Morocco where the harvest is complete, and reflects government estimates. South African wheat production is slightly increased by 0.1 million tons to 1.8 million, reflecting slightly higher area, generally good crop conditions in the Western Cape Province, and the first wheat production estimate by South Africa's National Crop Estimates Committee. Partly offsetting are declines in projected wheat output for Iran, Paraguay, and Saudi Arabia.
In Iran, wheat production is projected down 1.0 million tons to 14.5 million this month, which is still 0.5 million tons higher than last year. Iran has been enjoying favorable weather conditions, but a slow moving storm in May in southwestern Iran is expected to have affected wheat harvesting in that part of the country.
Wheat output in Paraguay is projected 0.4 million tons lower to just 1.0 million, the lowest wheat output in 8 years. Unusually timed frosts in the majorproducing areas at the end of July and in August are expected to have reduced harvested area by more than 30 percent, as well as generating much lower than expected crop quality.
In Saudi Arabia, the continued implementation of a 2008 decree intended to completely phase out domestic wheat production by 2016 resulted in an additional reduction in projected wheat area, down 20 thousand hectares to 0.1 thousand hectares, and in production down 0.1 million tons to 0.6 million. Wheat production for 2013/14 was also adjusted for Eritrea.