World wheat production prospects reduced this month

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Global wheat production in 2012/13 is projected to reach 653.0 million tons, down 5.7 million tons this month. The largest change this month is a 3.0-million-ton cut in projected wheat production in Australia to 23.0 million. September rainfall is the most critical for wheat production in Australia, and this year, though precipitation in September improved in the province of Western Australia after it suffered a dry spell in July, accumulated soil moisture is still much below average.

In the provinces of the eastern part of the country’s wheat belt, rainfall was spotty and not well distributed, and crop development was delayed by unusually low temperatures. Because of the lack of moisture, some wheat fields are expected to be cut for hay or left unharvested, reducing expectations for harvested area, down 0.2 million hectares to 13.3 million.

Projected wheat production in Russia continues its decline as the wheat harvest gets closer to its end and projections for abandoned wheat area get higher, reaching 12 percent of planted area. This trend drives down area harvested by 0.7 million hectares to 21.8 million, and wheat production down 1.0 million tons to 38.0 million.

European Union (EU-27) wheat production for 2012/13 is reduced 0.8 million tons this month to 131.6 million, mostly because of a significant reduction for the United Kingdom (UK) (down 0.8 million tons to 14.0 million). UK is the third largest wheat producer in the EU-27 after France and Germany.

In contrast to the rest of Europe, abnormally high precipitation (around twice that of normal) and cool temperatures in the UK’s major wheat-producing areas reduced yields, and promoted diseases that lowered the quality of wheat. Revisions in the official wheat production estimates for other EU-27 countries offset each other with lower estimates for France, Greece, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, and Slovenia being counterbalanced by the increases for Sweden, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, and Finland.

Canadian wheat production is trimmed 0.3 million tons to 26.7 million as Statistics Canada surveys revealed lower yields. Algeria also reported lower preliminary wheat production, with a reduction of 0.3 million tons to 3.3 million. Wheat production in Kyrgyzstan is down 0.3 million tons to 0.6 million, as harvest reports indicate a decline in wheat yields. Wheat area in Uruguay is projected down 0.1 million hectares, based on planting intentions reported by its Ministry of Agriculture, reducing production 0.3 million tons to 1.6 million.

There are also small changes in wheat production this month in Sudan, Mongolia, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Lesotho, and the United States.

Several revisions of the previous years’ wheat production estimates are made this month. Based on the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, wheat production in Australia for 2010/11 is revised down 0.5 million tons to 27.4 million, while a production revision for 2011/12 is insignificant. Wheat production in Argentina is revised up 0.5 million tons for both 2010/11 and 2011/12 to 17.2 and 15.5 million tons, respectively, with higher estimated harvested area and unambiguous evidence of the increased use of wheat for exports and domestic consumption.


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