FAO/GIEWS - Food Outlook No. 5 - Rome, December 2001 p. 6

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Current Production and Crop Prospects

Position by Region


Far East: In China, wheat production in 2001 is now officially estimated at 93.9 million tonnes, down by 6 percent from 2000 as a result of unfavourable weather conditions and reduced planted area. The key winter growing provinces have recently received some beneficial rainfall for the emerging winter wheat crop, but not enough to offset the extreme dryness resulting from drought in the previous months. More rain is needed to ensure good development of crops before winter dormancy and to build up soil moisture reserves. However, based on winter planting information and assuming normal weather conditions for the remainder of the season, wheat output in 2002 is tentatively forecast to remain at this year's level. Wheat production in India and Pakistan also fell in 2001, returning to the about-average levels of 68.5 million tonnes and 19 million tonnes respectively, after bumper crops in the previous year. In Pakistan, prospects for the winter wheat crop are reported to be satisfactory after adequate rainfall in the main producing areas. Currently, preparations are being made for planting the Rabi wheat crop. The official production target for wheat production in 2002 has been set at about 20 million tonnes.
The 2001 coarse grains crop in China is now estimated at 122.6 million tonnes, which is slightly above last year but remains below the 5-year average. Of the total, maize is estimated to account for 110.4 million tonnes, which is around 17 percent above last year but well below the average of the last 5 years. Total coarse grains output in 2001 in India is expected to be about average at some 30 million tonnes, of which maize is estimated to account for about 12 million tonnes. In Pakistan, harvesting of Kharif maize crop is underway and the 2001 coarse grains output is expected to decrease slightly from the previous year's level to about 2.1 million tonnes.

The forecast for China's (Mainland) paddy output in 2001 has been increased by 600 000 tonnes to 179.7 million tonnes from the previous report, following better than expected yields from the intermediate rice crop, the harvest of which was completed in October. At this level, output would be 4 percent smaller than in 2000, mainly reflecting a 9 percent and 5 percent contraction in the early and intermediate crops respectively. Since the record crop of 1997, the sector has experienced a steady contraction, which was accelerated in 2000, with the elimination of government protective prices for early indica rice. In India, harvesting of the Kharif crop is virtually complete in the northern states of the Punjab and Haryana but continues in the other provinces. Despite the occurrence in September of flooding in Uttar Pradesh, an important rice growing state, the forecast for aggregate paddy production in 2001 has been raised by 1 million tonnes to 132 million tonnes, up from the revised estimate for 2000 of 129.4 million tonnes. The adjustment follows the release, in October, of preliminary production estimates by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, which put the main, rainfed, Kharif crop at 114.6 million tonnes (76.42 million tonnes, in milled equivalent), 3 million tonnes more than last season's Kharif crop.

In Indonesia, planting of the main 2002 rice crop is underway, while harvesting of the second 2001 crop is close to completion. Official estimates for 2001 put production at 50.1 million tonnes, marginally lower than the previous forecast. At this level, the aggregate output for the 2001 season would be 3.5 percent down from the record output achieved in 2000, despite generally favourable growing conditions. Much of the year-to-year decline is due to the low prices prevailing in the past and current year, which have induced a shift to other crops and discouraged proper input applications. In reaction, the Government is reported to be preparing a new rice production programme to assist paddy farmers during the production and marketing phases.

Although paddy crops in the Democratic Republic of Korea were first hampered by drought from March to May, favourable rainfall from mid-June to end August, a critical period for the country's paddy crop development, and improved availability of inputs have sustained a recovery from the extremely low levels of last year. Estimates from an FAO/WFP mission in

World Cereal Production - Provisional Estimate for 2001

Coarse grains
Rice (paddy)
( . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . )
Central America
South America
North America
2 055.0
2 065.8
(1 857)2/
(1 870)2/
Developing countries
1 188.1
1 194.7
Developed countries

September put the crop at 2.1 million tonnes, up from an earlier forecast of 1.8 million tonnes and some 20 percent more than last year. In the Republic of Korea, the paddy harvest is virtually complete, despite the delays incurred from late planting. Based on a Government crop survey in mid-September 2001, paddy production is estimated at 7.4 million tonnes, 300 000 tonnes less than the official forecast in August, but still 3 percent above the 2000 crop and the highest since 1990. Although the Government has already announced a set of measures to sustain producer prices, its action will be constrained by the WTO ceiling on the Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS), more than 90 percent of which is absorbed by the rice sector.

Paddy production in Nepal in 2001 is officially estimated to have risen by 5 percent compared to 2000 to 4.2 million tonnes, 100 000 tonnes more than earlier anticipated. The year-to-year increase reflects improvements in yields, mainly supported by favourable growing conditions and a wider diffusion of improved rice varieties. In Thailand, harvesting of the main crop has just started in the central and northern regions under good weather conditions. Latest official estimates showed a 100 000 tonnes increase in the main crop from last season. Paddy production in 2001, originally forecast to remain stable, has accordingly been raised by an equivalent amount to 24.2 million tonnes, matching the record achieved in 1999.

Heavy rains and flooding in the Mekong Delta and central region in Viet Nam have reportedly delayed plantings of the winter-spring paddy crop, which will be harvested early next year. They have also hindered transportation of newly harvested rice onto the market. Paddy production in 2001 has been revised downward to 31.7 million tonnes, about the same level as last year, but 1 million tonnes below the record achieved in 1999. This outcome is also consistent with current Government policies to encourage better quality production and the relaxation of the obligation to cultivate rice on certain paddy fields.

An assessment, as of 15 October, of the crop currently being harvested in Japan resulted in an upward revision in the paddy production forecast from 10.9 million tonnes to 11.3 million tonnes, mainly reflecting higher than expected yields following good weather conditions since July. Nonetheless, at the new forecast level, output would fall short by nearly 500 000 tonnes of the level achieved in 2000, a reflection of the paddy land diversion programme implemented by the Government.

No changes have been made to the forecasts for the other major rice producers in the region. In Cambodia, planting of the main paddy crop, which terminated in October, is estimated to have covered an area of about 1.9 million hectares, 40 000 hectares less than in 2000. The forecast of paddy production for the whole season stays at 4.3 million tonnes, 7 percent above last season, on account of smaller damage to flood this year. Indeed, the paddy area destroyed by the September and October floods was assessed to have been half as large as in 2000, when 400 000 hectares were lost. Excellent growing conditions in the Philippines led to some upward revisions in the official production figures. However, flooding caused by typhoon Lingling in early November resulted in rice losses of the order of 85 000 tonnes. On balance, the production estimate for the country remains at 12.8 million tonnes, still an all time high. Myanmar paddy production is also confirmed to have reached a record level, boosted by government expansionary policies and excellent growing conditions during the season. Crop prospects continue to be favourable also in Laos and Malaysia, where higher production is anticipated this season. By contrast, a contraction is expected in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Near East: In Afghanistan, prospects for the 2002 cereal crops, for harvest in May/June, are unfavourable due to recent escalation of conflict and military action that has displaced a large number of people. Aggregate 2001 cereal production is estimated at 2 million tonnes, a slight recovery from last year but about 36 percent below the average of the past five years. In Iraq, the 2001 cereal crop, estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes, is about 9 percent below average. Similarly, production was well below average in Jordan due to drought conditions. In Syria, the 2001 cereal production, mainly wheat, strongly recovered from the previous two years drought-reduced crops and nearly doubled compared to last year. In Saudi Arabia, cereal production is estimated at 2.2 million tonnes, almost similar to last year and the average. In Turkey, however, production fell compared to last year's crop due to adverse weather. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, drought this year, for the third year in succession, has affected 20 out of the country's 28 provinces. The wheat output estimate for the year remains at 7.5 million tonnes, well below the normal level before the recent drought years. The country's paddy crop has been particularly affected by adverse weather as after suffering the effects of drought, the situation was aggravated in August by torrential rains and flooding that damaged rice crops in the important producing region of Mazandaran, in the northeast. Expectations for paddy output this season have accordingly been revised downward by 100 000 tonnes to 2.2 million tonnes, the lowest level for the last ten years.

CIS in Asia: In the CIS countries in Asia, except Kazakhstan, crop production has been severely compromised for the third year in succession due to exceptionally hot and dry weather conditions. Rainfed and summer crops in some areas completely failed, while in some other areas was reduced to less than half the average. The worst affected countries are Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while food supply in Georgia, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kyrghyzstan remains tight despite significant efforts to increase cereal areas. Chronic economic problems, dilapidated irrigation systems, shortages of agricultural inputs and other structural problems have compounded the effects of natural calamities and have increased food insecurity in the region. An FAO/WFP mission to Tajikistan in July this year estimated total cereal production at 295 000 tonnes, only 63 percent of the 1996-2000 average production levels. In Uzbekistan cereal output declined to 3.4 million tonnes, about 1 million tonnes below the harvest in 1999 when production was considered average. The worst affected areas in Uzbekistan are Karakalpakstan and Khorzam where most of the summer crops failed or could not be planted. Food insecurity in the region remains critical due to diminishing capacity to import, few sources of foreign exchange earnings and a chronic disequilibria in the economy as well as lack of alternative sources of livelihood at the household level.

In Kazakhstan grain production has significantly improved at 16.5 million tonnes this year compared with 11.6 million tonnes in 2000. Favourable weather conditions and virtually disease-free crops have contributed to a surge in crop production.


Northern Africa: Planting of the winter crops has started in most parts of the subregion for harvesting in the spring of 2002. Wheat production in 2001 for the subregion is estimated at an above-average 12.9 million tonnes, a significant increase from last year's drought affected crop of 10 million tonnes. In Algeria and Morocco, outputs more than doubled those of the previous year, largely reflecting expanded plantings and improved yields in particular. In Egypt, production was above average but 5 per cent lower from the record level reached in 2000, mainly as a result of a smaller area planted. In Tunisia, wheat output increased by some 8 per cent from the previous year but remained below the average of the last five years.

The subregion's 2001 coarse grains crop is estimated at 9.9 million tonnes, which is close to the 5-year average of 10.2 million tonnes but much above the 8.6 million tonnes harvested in 2000. In Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, production of barley, the main coarse grain, increased substantially from the 2000 output, but was below the last 5-year average. This was mainly the result of larger plantings compared to the previous year, particularly in the first two countries. In Egypt, output of maize, the country's principal coarse grain, is estimated at 6.4 million tonnes, close to the good output gathered in 2000 and considerably above the average of the last 5 years.

Harvesting of the paddy crop in Egypt, the largest producer in the region, is well advanced,. The official forecast for the country's current harvest has been reduced by nearly 150 000 tonnes to 5 260 thousand tonnes, following a downward revision in the area. At that level, production would be 12 percent lower than in the past year, a reflection of the low prices that have prevailed notwithstanding government intervention to sustain them.

Western Africa: A record harvest has been gathered in the Sahel. Generally regular and well-distributed rainfall throughout the rainy season permitted a satisfactory crop development and adequate growing conditions for recession crops. The pest situation was mostly calm. The rains permitted satisfactory regeneration of pastures and replenishment of water reserves in the pastoral zones. The 2001 aggregate cereal production of the nine CILSS member countries has been estimated by a series of joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Missions in October at a record of 11.7 million tonnes, which is well above the 2000 level and well above average. Production is anticipated to be significantly above average in all countries, except in Mauritania. A record level has been reached in Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Niger. Near record is expected
in Chad, Mali and Senegal. Below 2000 production is anticipated in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania. In the countries along the Gulf of Guinea, harvest prospects are mixed following reduced rains in October in some countries. The cereal output in Sierra Leone is expected to exceed last year's level due to increased area planted and improved conditions for input distribution.

Growing conditions have been generally favourable for the paddy crops in western Africa, where harvesting is in progress. Most countries are expected to record sizeable increases in output this year, including Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and even Sierra Leone where the end of war and the return of displaced population to their villages are helping the sector to recover. By contrast, the estimate for the Côte d'Ivoire has been reduced by some 50 000 tonnes to 1 055 thousand tonnes, which remains slightly above last year's outcome.

Central Africa: Reflecting good growing conditions, harvest prospects are generally good in Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Food production is progressively recovering in the Republic of Congo. In the Great Lakes regions, civil strife persists in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pointing to another reduced cereal harvest.

Eastern Africa: The 2001 aggregate wheat production in the subregion is forecast by FAO close to 2 million tonnes, slightly above average. In Kenya and Ethiopia, where harvesting of the crop has started, prospects remain favourable reflecting abundant rains in the past months and outputs are expected to increase from the previous year. In Sudan, where the crop was harvested earlier in the year, output was about 40 percent higher than in 2000, although still 22 percent below the average of the last five years.

Harvesting of the 2001 coarse grains has been completed in southern parts of the subregion but is just starting in northern countries. The subregion's 2001 aggregate output is forecast at about 19.6 million tonnes, 10 percent above the reduced level of last year and 2 percent above average. However, in Somalia, erratic and below normal rains in the main growing areas have resulted in a sharp drop of the 2001 main season "Gu" crop, particularly sorghum, which has dropped to about one-third of the previous year's "Gu" production. Despite recent beneficial rains, prospects for the 2001/02 secondary "Deyr" is uncertain. In Tanzania, the 2001 coarse grains output is estimated at 3.3 million tonnes, 15 percent above the poor level of last year. Abundant rains during the season encouraged farmers to expand the total area planted and resulted in generally higher yields. In Uganda, the output of the recently harvested 2001 first season is estimated to be good due to favourable weather conditions. In Kenya, production of the "long rains" maize crop is forecast at about 2.3 million tonnes, a substantial recovery from last year's reduced level. Assuming normal "short rains" production early next year, the 2001/02 aggregate maize output is projected at 2.7 million tonnes. In Ethiopia, the outlook for the coarse grain harvest has improved with the rains of the past month and the output is forecast at above average levels. In Eritrea, production of coarse grains is anticipated well above the reduced crop of 2000 due mainly to improved weather. In the Sudan, despite serious floods and erratic rains in parts, overall prospects for this year's coarse grain harvest are favourable.

Southern Africa: The wheat harvest is almost complete in the subregion and latest indications point to an above average output of 2.7 million tonnes. This reflects an increase in the area planted in the major producing countries, South Africa and Zimbabwe, coupled with adequate water reserves. Planting of the 2002 coarse grains is underway under generally favourable weather conditions so far. Normal to above-normal precipitation in September and October in most countries of the subregion, favored planting and benefited early sown crops. Estimates of the 2001 coarse grains crop stand at 14.7 million tonnes, some 24 percent less than in the previous season and about 17 percent below average. Production declined sharply in almost all countries of the subregion as a result of adverse weather and lower plantings. Only Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar recorded higher outputs this year compared to 2000. Coarse grain output fell by 28 percent to 8 million tonnes in South Africa, by 27 percent in Zimbabwe, by 26 percent in Malawi and 23 percent in Zambia.

Planting of the 2002 main season paddy crop is about to be completed in Madagascar. Output in 2001 is estimated to have reached 2.6 million tonnes, 200 000 tonnes more than earlier anticipated and 13 percent more than in 2000. The size of the crop combined with large imports has exerted a strong downward pressure on domestic prices, causing havoc to the rice sector.

Central America and the Caribbean

Wheat planting for the 2002 crop in Mexico has started under favourable weather conditions, and planting intentions are unchanged from last year. During the 1990's the area planted to wheat fell annually by some 30 000 hectares, but since 1999 plantings have remained stable at around 670 000 hectares. The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Foodstuffs of Mexico (SAGARPA) estimates wheat production in 2001 at 3.2 million tonnes.

Following a below average harvest of first season coarse grain crops in the subregion, the outlook is favourable for the second season crops due to abundant rains in August, September and October. In Mexico, 2001 maize production is forecast at about 20 million tonnes, some 12 percent higher than last year. Sorghum production, mainly for feed, is forecast at 6.2 million tonnes, a level similar to the average of the last five years. In the other Central American countries, first season crops were lower than average following drought, but the growth of second season crops is satisfactory. In the Caribbean, maize production in 2001 is forecast at 443 000 tonnes, about 10 percent higher than the average level of the last five years. As a result, 2001 aggregate coarse grain production in Central America and the Caribbean should reach 30 million tonnes, an increase of 7 percent from the average level of the last five years.

In most of Central America and the Caribbean, harvesting of this year's paddy crop will linger until the end of the year. First plagued by severe drought, several countries in the subregion were recently hit by flooding arising from heavy rains or hurricanes, at a time which coincided with the bulk of harvesting activities. Particularly affected were Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador, which will all experience sizeable reduction in output compared with last season. Pending an assessment of the impact on paddy crops of hurricane Michelle, which hit Cuba on 4 and 5 November, the production estimate for the country remains unchanged at a low 300 000 tonnes. Contrary to the tendency prevailing in the subregion, the Dominican Republic is expected to harvest a bumper crop, reflecting to a large extent the utilization of the high-yielding rice variety "Prosequia 4" over some 80 percent of the planted area.

South America

Wheat harvesting has started in the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and is due to continue until January. Heavy rains and excess water throughout Mercosur wheat producing areas during October and November are causing fungus diseases in the maturing crops. Nevertheless, the output is expected to be some 11 percent higher than last year due to increased plantings and favourable weather throughout the winter for crop development. Wheat production is forecast at 17.5 million tonnes in Argentina and at 3 million tonnes in Brazil. In Chile, the other major wheat producing country in South America, production is forecast to increase by 16 per cent from last year due to increased plantings.

Planting of coarse grain crops in Mercosur has been delayed by heavy and persistent rains during October and November. In addition, better relative prices for soybeans are not making maize planting attractive and, as a result, the area planted to maize is forecast to fall from last year. Official sources in Argentina indicate that maize planting intentions are between 6 and 9 percent lower than last year, while the National Food Supply Company of Brazil (CONAB) anticipates the area planted to first season maize to be 12 percent lower than last year. The fall in the area planted to maize in Brazil follows a record crop of 41.5 million tonnes in 2001, almost 10 millions tonnes higher than last year. In the Andean countries, high water reservoir levels give a favourable outlook for the irrigated coarse grain crops currently being planted in Bolivia and Peru. In Ecuador and Colombia, planting of coarse grain crops is well advanced while in Venezuela, harvesting of maize has started and a bumper crop of 1.4 million tonnes is anticipated.
In South America, the 2001 paddy season is mostly over and nearly all countries have completed or are about to complete planting of the 2002 paddy crop. Heavy rainfall in October delayed somewhat the fieldwork in preparation of the 2002 season in parts of Brazil and caused some damage to early-planted crops in Argentina and Uruguay.

As the 2001 paddy crops have been fully harvested in most of the region, a number of governments have reviewed their estimates of production for the season. In Bolivia, these have been cut by nearly 40 000 tonnes from the previous report, resulting in a 7 percent annual drop. In Ecuador, the 2001 crop was gauged at 1.4 million tonnes, marginally above the past season, but 200 000 tonnes less than earlier anticipated. The new output figures for Peru also entailed a 100 000 tonnes reduction from the previous forecast. However, unlike for most countries in the region, the new estimate for 2001 would be a record high.

Several countries have carried out field surveys to assess producer planting intentions for the forthcoming 2002 season. In Argentina, estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the declining trend will persist next year, with the area expected to contract from 134 000 hectares in 2001 to 125 000 hectares in 2002, as farmers have faced extremely poor returns since 1999. A fall in cultivation in the current season already entailed a 17 percent drop in output to 750 000 tonnes in 2001.

Unlike in neighbouring countries, in Brazil, government domestic purchases have supported producer prices in 2001. According to the October crop survey by CONAB, these should have a positive impact in the next season and plantings are forecast to rise by between 1.0 percent to 2.6 percent in 2002. In addition, a 5 percent gain in yields is currently anticipated, resulting in an expected hike in output of 6 - 8 percent to 11.0 - 11.2 million tonnes.

Although Uruguay also recorded a drop in the rice area and production in 2001, good growing conditions have lifted yields above the level originally expected, leading to a slight upward revision in output. Planting of the new crop in November progressed under less than optimal conditions because of heavy rainfall. This combined with poor economic incentives may result in a further contraction in output in 2002.

North America

In the United States, the November USDA crop report put the 2001 aggregate wheat (winter and spring) output at 53.3 million tonnes, 12 percent down from 2000 and about 17 percent below the average of the past five years. As of late-November, planting of the winter wheat crop for harvest in 2002 was virtually complete after a generally normal planting season. However, many emerging crops are reported to be stressed by lack of moisture throughout the wheat plains. Crop condition ratings on 26 November were on average much poorer than at the same time last year or the normal for the time of the season. More moisture is needed soon for early development of emerging crops as if plants are not strongly established before the onset of dormancy then the crop could be more susceptible to winter kill. In Canada, where the harvest is drawing to a close, aggregate wheat production in 2001 is now officially forecast at 20.7 million tonnes, about 23 percent down from last year and well below the average of the past five years reflecting generally adverse weather for this year's crop. In eastern Canada, late autumn rains are reported to have held up planting of the small winter wheat crop.

As the coarse grains harvest draws to a close in the United States' main producing states, latest estimates point to a larger output this year than previously expected. The USDA's November forecast put aggregate coarse grain production at about 264 million tonnes, up about 7 million tonnes from the September report but still about 10 million tonnes down from last year's bumper crop. Of the total, maize is expected to account for about 242 million tonnes, compared to 253 million tonnes in 2000. The latest forecast of Canada's aggregate coarse grain production in 2001 is put at 22.5 million tonnes, about 8 percent down from 2000 and also well below the five-year average.

Harvesting of the paddy crop in the United States was virtually complete by end October. Following an upward adjustment in yields, the crop estimate for 2001 has been raised by 150 000 tonnes to 9.5 million tonnes since the last report, nearly 10 percent above the previous season's level. All of the year-to-year increase would be on account of a 26 percent expansion in long grain rice production, which would more than compensate a fall in medium and short grain rice output.


FAO's latest forecast puts aggregate 2001 cereal production in the EC at about 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 91.6 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. Paddy production in the EC is estimated at 2.6 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous forecast, but some 80 000 tonnes more than last year. The increase reflects moderate growth in Italy, Portugal and Spain, which have more than offset a contraction in France and Greece. Although, on average, yields recovered, excessive heat in August and hailstorms in October damaged the quality of the rice harvested in Italy. In Spain, producers will face, again this year, severe penalties for having surpassed the area ceilings established under the Common Agriculture Policy. Regarding the winter cereal crops for harvest in 2002, autumn conditions have been generally favourable throughout the Community, with widespread showers maintaining abundant moisture supplies for early crop development. Latest indications suggest the overall area planted will be similar to that in the previous year.

Elsewhere in Europe, in the central and southeastern countries, the 2001 cereal crops have generally recovered from the drought-reduced levels last year, with sharp recoveries in output registered throughout the area. The prospects for the winter grain crops for harvest in 2002 remain somewhat uncertain although early indications suggest an overall increase in area could occur throughout these countries. Latest reports indicate that weather conditions this autumn have been generally favourable, apart from in the extreme southeast (southern Romania and Bulgaria) where persisting dryness is hindering crop development. Also, after drought hit summer crops badly this year in some parts, there is likely to be a preference towards winter crops this year, which give a more secure return, especially in view of the favourable planting conditions.

In the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), the aggregate cereal output the three countries is of estimated at just over 4 million tonnes in 2001 slightly below the good harvest collected last year, including 1.5 million tonnes of wheat and 2.6 million tonnes of coarse grains.

In the European CIS countries (Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova) grain production significantly improved in 2001 compared with the past six years, mainly due to favourable weather conditions and the improved availability of farm inputs. The Russian Federation is estimated to have produced about 80 million tonnes of grains from about 47 million hectares of land, which compares with 70 million tonnes in 2000. The 2001 cereal crop includes about 43 million tonnes of wheat and about 36 million tonnes of coarse grains, compared with 38 million tonnes of wheat and 31.5 million tonnes of coarse grains in 2000. The Ukraine has produced an estimated 36 million tonnes of grains this year compared with 24.9 million tonnes in 2000. Total cereal production in the Ukraine this year includes 19.9 million tonnes of wheat, 8.8 million tonnes of barley and 3.3 million tonnes of maize, which compare with 11 million tonnes of wheat, 6.8 million tonnes of barley and 3.8 million tonnes of maize in 2000. Grain production in Belarus is estimated at 5.2 million tonnes this year compared with 4.8 million tonnes in 2000. Grain output in Moldova this year is expected to increase by about 53 000 tonnes from just over 2 million tonnes in 2000. Dry weather conditions in September and early November have hampered the winter grain planting campaign in the Ukraine, southern parts of the Russian Federation and parts of Belarus. Preliminary forecasts indicate that winter cereal output in these countries in 2002 may be lower than the harvest in the preceding year.


In Australia, harvesting of the 2001 wheat and small coarse grain crops is underway under generally favourable conditions. The most recent official forecast dates from early September when ABARE forecast 2001 wheat output at 20.1 million tonnes, about 5 percent below the previous year. Since that forecast was issued the outlook is reported to have improved in some parts, but deteriorated in others. In Western Australia, where harvesting conditions are reported to be excellent, recent traders forecasts point to a bigger output for the region than was expected in September. By contrast, in New South Wales, persisting drought has continued to stress crops and late frosts are reported to have caused significant damage in some parts, which will pull yields down yet further. However, it is likely that the overall wheat crop may now turn out somewhat higher than expectations in September and FAO currently forecasts the country's wheat output at 21 million tonnes. FAO's latest forecast for the aggregate cereal output in 2001 now stands at almost 33 million tonnes, similar to the previous year's level, but slightly below the average of the past five years. Estimates for the 2001 paddy crop in Australia, which ended in June, confirmed the achievement of an exceptionally high output. Planting of the 2002 season is virtually over, with area estimated to have fallen by 10 percent. Assuming yields at the average of the last three years, production could reach 1.5 million tonnes next year, falling short by 256 000 tonnes of the 2001 record output.

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