FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages No.5, November 2001


EC (19 November)

FAO's latest forecast puts aggregate 2001 cereal production in the EC at about 203 million tonnes, 6 percent down from last year and about 3 percent below the average of the past five years. The decrease results from the combined effect of an overall smaller cereal area and lower average yields for this year’s crop. Most of the decrease in production is accounted for by wheat, which is now forecast at 91.5 million tonnes, 13 percent below last years bumper crop and about 9 percent below the average of the past five year’s. The forecast for aggregate coarse grain production remains at about 109 million tonnes, which would be virtually unchanged from the 2000 output. Production of maize and rye is seen to increase while that of barley and oats is estimated to be down. Autumn conditions have been generally favourable for winter crop sowing throughout the Community and indications so far don’t suggest any major change in overall area compared to the previous year.

ALBANIA (19 November)

Aggregate cereal production could be slightly up for the second year in succession reflecting improved weather conditions after drought affected crops in the previous two seasons. Aggregate cereal output is tentatively estimated at about 600 000 tonnes of which wheat is expected to account for about 350 000 tonnes.

BELARUS (3 November)

Grain production is estimated at about 5.2 million tonnes this year compared with 4.8 million tonnes the previous year. This year’s grain production estimates include 0.8 million tonnes of wheat, 1.7 million tonnes of barley and 1.6 million tonnes of rye. The 2001 grain production increase owes mainly to improved yields due to favourable weather conditions.

The cereal import requirement in 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at 706 000 tonnes, which is slightly below last year’s estimates. Cereal imports comprise 550 000 tonnes of wheat, 65 000 tonnes of barley, 40 000 tonnes of maize and 29 000 tonnes of rye. The source of imports are mainly the CIS countries.


Cereal harvest in 2001 is estimated at 924 000 tonnes, which is slightly below the drought reduced level of the preceding year. The reduction is due to May floods and hail in the northern regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the adjacent areas of Republica Serbska. This year’s harvest includes 330 000 tonnes of wheat, 470 000 tonnes of maize and 54 000 tonnes of barley. Cereal import requirement in 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at 290 000 tonnes, including 100 000 tonnes of food aid requirement.

BULGARIA (19 November)

The 2001 cereal crop is estimated to be close to last years level at just over 5 million tonnes. The weather throughout the season remained very variable across the country and generally far from favourable, especially in the major producing areas. The estimate of the 2001 wheat output remains at about 3.5 million tonnes, slightly up from last year. Regarding the summer maize crop, however, latest indications point to a sharp decline in output due to drought at the most critical time during the growing season. The early outlook for winter cereal planting is reported to be favourable, with planting pace as of late October pointing to a likely overall increase in the wheat and barley area. However, the final outcome is somewhat uncertain, as many areas remain affected by less than adequate moisture and farmers availability of cash remains limited after two years of drought-affected crops.

CROATIA (19 November)

Cereal harvest this year is satisfactory at about 3.1 million tonnes, which is about 700 000 tonnes higher compared to last year. This year’s output includes 912 000 tonnes of wheat, 2 million tonnes of maize and 165 000 tonnes of barley, which compares with 929 000 tonnes of wheat, 1.3 million tonnes of maize and 151 000 tonnes of barley in the previous year. Cereal exports this year is seen at about 320 000 tonnes, which includes 170 000 tonnes of maize and 150 000 tonnes of wheat.

CZECH REPUBLIC (19 November)

The latest estimate of 2001 cereal harvest in the Czech Republic is about 7.3 million tonnes, about 12 percent up from last year and the largest crop since 1991. Increased plantings and generally favourable weather conditions through the growing season are the main reasons for the increase.

ESTONIA (5 November)

Grain production in 2001 at 617 000 tonnes is similar to the harvest in 2000 and includes 140 000 tonnes of wheat, 275 000 tonnes of barley, 100 000 tonnes of oats and 60 000 tonnes of rye. Cereal import requirement for the 2001/02 (July/June) is estimated at 247 000 tonnes, which is slightly more than the previous marketing year and includes 140 000 tonnes of wheat, 60 000 tonnes of maize and 30 000 tonnes of barley.


In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, continuing dry weather in 2001 has reduced cereal output further from last year’s already low level. Aggregate output could fall well below 500 000 tonnes with wheat accounting for about 200 000 tonnes, barley 100 000 tonnes and maize 100 000 tonnes. For the 2001/02 winter grain season, some 4 500 families in the crisis-stricken regions of western Macedonia will receive free-of-charge 150 kg of wheat seed and 150 kg of fertilizers each through a donation of the FAO.

HUNGARY (19 November)

The 2001 cereal output has recovered significantly, by about 4.5 million tonnes, to 14.6 million tonnes. Wheat output is estimated at about 5 million tonnes, compared to the drought- reduced crop of 3.7 million tonnes in 2000, while that of maize is estimated to have recovered to about 7.5 million tonnes from the reduced crop of less than 5 million tonnes last year.

LATVIA (5 November)

Grain harvest is complete and total output is estimated at 894 000 tonnes from an area of 420 000 tonnes, which is similar to the 2000 area under grains. The output for 2001 includes 390 000 tonnes of wheat, 260 000 tonnes of barley and 120 000 tonnes of rye, which compares with the 2000 harvest of 400 000 tonnes of wheat, 255 000 tonnes of barley and 130 000 tonnes of rye. Winter planting has begun and is expected to be similar to last year’s area under grains.

LITHUANIA (6 November)

The 2001 grain harvest is estimated at 2.5 million tonnes, about 200 000 tonnes less than the 2000 harvest. Cereal harvest this year includes 0.98 million tonnes of wheat, 0.9 million tonnes of barley and 400 000 tonnes of rye. During the 2001/02 marketing year, cereal exports are estimated about 130 000 tonnes of cereals mainly wheat (100 000 tonnes) and rye (20 000 tonnes), while cereal import requirements are estimated at 61 000 tonnes.

MOLDOVA (5 November)

Grain harvest in 2001 is estimated at 2.6 million tonnes, which is about 600 000 tonnes in excess of the harvest in the preceding year and nearly 200 000 tonnes higher than the average harvest of the past five years. Grain production this year includes 1 million tonnes of wheat, 1.2 million tonnes of maize and 260 000 tonnes of barley. The country remains a net importer of grains, mainly food grade wheat (20 000 tonnes) and some rice (6 000 tonnes).

POLAND (19 November)

In Poland, wheat output is estimated at 9.4 million tonnes, some 10 percent up from 2000 reflecting improved weather conditions after drought last year. The country's important rye crop has also recovered significantly to over 5 million tonnes, compared to just 4 million tonnes last year, and barley output is put 22 percent up at about 3.4 million tonnes. In aggregate, total cereal production is estimated at about 26 million tonnes, some 16 percent up from 2000 and above the average of the past five years.

ROMANIA (19 November)

In Romania, cereal output has risen sharply after the drought- reduced crops in 2000. Latest estimates put wheat production at 7.8 million tonnes, more than 3 million tonnes up from 2000, while that for maize rose by more than 2 million tonnes to about 6.5 million tonnes.


Grain harvest in 2001, estimated at some 82 million tonnes, is significantly higher than the 2000 harvest and the average production levels of the past five years at just over 71 million tonnes. This year’s production includes 43 million tonnes of wheat, 19.6 million tonnes of barley, 6 million tonnes of rye and 8 million tonnes of oats, which respectively compares with 38, 15.4, 5.9 and 6.5 million tonnes in 2000. Maize production has declined to about a million tonnes in 2001 compared with 1.5 million tonnes in 2000 due to prolonged hot and dry weather in July/August and rainy weather in October.

Winter planting has been progressing at a good pace, though dry weather conditions and late harvest of spring crops have affected some parts of southern Russia. However, the government plans to significantly increase area sown to winter cereals, in particular wheat and barley.

Russia is set to become a net exporter of cereals this year with total cereal exports expected to reach nearly 3 million tonnes compared with 1.2 million tonnes in 2000/01 marketing year (July/June). Cereal imports in 2001/02 marketing year are forecast at 2.7 million tonnes, which is similar to the previous year. Maize accounts for 1.2 million tonnes of the total imports mainly due to reduced production and a surge in poultry industry, which has caused a sharp rise in demand for maize. Wheat exports may reach about 1.4 million tonnes this year compared with only 700 000 tonnes in the previous year. Barley export in 2001/02 marketing year is set to reach 1.5 million tonnes, about 1 million tonnes more than the preceding marketing year.

Civil conflicts in Chechnya have intensified during the past few months further deteriorating living conditions and compromising crop production. Many people continue to depend on WFP and international NGOs for basic and complementary food assistance. Currently WFP is providing emergency food aid to about 280 000 people in Ingushetia and Chechnya. This programme is expected to continue until the end of December 2002. By then about 56 500 tonnes of food aid would have been distributed to some 310 000 internally displaced and poor food insecure persons in the North Caucasus.


In the Slovak Republic, aggregate cereal output is expected to exceed 3 million tonnes. Of the total, wheat is expected to account for about 2 million tonnes.

THE UKRAINE (3 November)

Grain production in 2001 is estimated at 36.3 million tonnes, which compares with 25.4 million tonnes in 2000 and 29.8 million tonnes average for the past 5 years. This year’s production includes 19.9 million tonnes of wheat, 8.8 million tonnes of barley, 3.3 million tonnes of maize and 1.6 million tonnes of rye. In 2000 wheat harvest amounted to 11 million tonnes, barley to 6.9 million tonnes, maize to 1.8 million tonnes and rye to 966 000 tonnes. The significantly higher production this year is mainly due to higher yields and some increase in area under wheat. Average cereal yield this year amounted to 2.6 million tonnes per hectare compared with 1.9 million tonnes per hectare in 2000.

Exceptionally dry weather conditions have hampered winter planting campaign, in particular in the southern parts of the country. Official estimates indicate that winter cereal production in 2001/02 marketing year may be significantly lower than this year’s harvest.

Ukraine is set to export about 6.2 million tonnes of cereals in 2001/02 marketing year (July/June) compared with 1.7 million tonnes the previous year. Cereal imports are seen to decline from 858 000 tonnes in 2000/01 marketing year to 210 000 tonnes this marketing year. Wheat and barley are the most important export cereals accounting for 56 percent (3.5 million tonnes) and 32 percent (2 million tonnes) of the total exports, respectively.


Cereal harvest in 2001 witnessed a sharp recovery reaching about 8.8 million tonnes compared with the drought and conflict affected harvest of 5.2 million tonnes in the preceding year. An FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission, which visited Yugoslavia (Republic of Serbia) in late June 2001, estimated production at 2.9 million tonnes of wheat, 5.5 million tonnes of maize and 303 000 tonnes of barley. Given the current estimated domestic utilization and production, cereal exports for 2001/02 marketing year is estimated at 700 000 tonnes, including 400 000 tonnes of wheat and 300 000 tonnes of maize.

Yugoslavia had planned to sow about 1 million hectares to winter crops, including 750 000 hectares to wheat. However, rainy weather conditions have so far hampered the planned sowing campaign, as a result the expected increase in cropped area may not be fully achieved. In addition, lack of sufficient mineral fertilizers and seeds may compromise yields in the ensuing cropping season.

WFP has extended its emergency food assistance programme, which will continue to decline in keeping with the Government’s ability to finance its social welfare sector. WFP currently assists some 445 000 beneficiaries, of which 160 000 are refugees and 285 000 social cases.

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