Far East: In southern Asia, the southwest monsoon season, which runs from June to September, has started slightly behind schedule, but the outlook is for a normal development of the season. Elsewhere, torrential rains in central and western China followed by unusually heavy floods have caused landslides, losses of life and damage to infrastructure and crops. Fears of the return of a drought-inducing El Niño weather pattern in 2002 prevail in a number of Asian countries, but though the movements towards El Niño conditions have progressed, the most likely outcome points to a weak El Niño.
Harvesting of winter wheat in the subregion is completed or well advanced while spring wheat is developing under generally favourable conditions. The latest estimate of China’s wheat production in 2002 is 87.8 million tonnes, down from 92.4 million tonnes reported earlier and the lowest level since 1989. This revision mainly reflects dry spring weather on the North China Plain and excessive rainfall in central China. Elsewhere in the Far East, favourable growing conditions boosted wheat production. Thus, in India, the latest official estimate points to a harvest of 73.5 million tonnes, higher than both the 2001 output of 68.8 million tonnes and the 1997-01 average of 70.3 million tonnes, while in Pakistan, wheat production is estimated at 19.2 million tonnes, a 1 percent increase over last year.
Planting of the 2002 coarse grain crops is completed in a number of countries, while in others planting is taking place with the onset of the southwest monsoon. In China, despite dry conditions at planting time in northeastern areas, maize production is expected to rise to 120.2 million tonnes, compared to 114.3 million tonnes in 2001, while the output of other coarse grains is likely to remain fairly unchanged from the previous year. India’s coarse grain production, assuming normal monsoon rains, is forecast at 33 million tonnes, up some 7 percent from 2001.
The 2002 main paddy season is drawing to an end in countries situated in the southern hemisphere and along the equatorial belt. In Indonesia, there are conflicting official forecasts of the country’s 2002 paddy output; pending firmer information on the size of the recently harvested main crop and the likelihood of El Niño impacting upon the country’s secondary crop, an estimate of 48.7 million tonnes has been used in this report. If confirmed, this would imply a reduction of close to 1 million tonnes from last season, largely owing to the flooding problems witnessed earlier this year.
With the arrival of the monsoon rains, planting of the bulk of the main season rice crops has started in the northern hemisphere. In Bangladesh, paddy production is forecast to rise to a record 39 million tonnes. This 1.2 million tonnes increase from 2001 would mainly reflect a wider use of hybrid seeds and incentives to the irrigated sector. A fourteenth consecutive year of ‘normal’ monsoon rains has been projected by meteorologists in India. Accordingly, the country’s 2002 paddy output is forecast at 136 million tonnes, up 3 million tonnes from the previous forecast, and close to the record achieved in 2001. In Pakistan, a shortage of irrigation water persists. As a result, prospects for the country’s 2002 paddy season remain bleak. Output is officially forecast at 5.2 million tonnes, 400 000 tonnes lower than the 2001 crop and the lowest level since 1994.
Following the release of official production figures by the State Statistical Bureau, China’s (Mainland) 2001 paddy production estimate has been raised by 600 000 tonnes to 177.6 million tonnes. As for the 2002 season, production is forecast to be slightly above that level, at 177.8 million tonnes. This would mark a reversal of the contraction experienced in the past two seasons. The increase would be on account of a 6 percent expansion in intermediate rice crop, which would offset an expected 8 percent drop in both the early and the late rice crops. Recent flooding problems in the country are not anticipated to hinder prospects for the current season, since scope remains for replanting.
In Thailand, recent abundant precipitation across rice producing areas has favoured the 2002 main-season production and has largely dissipated fears regarding the possible effects of El Niño. The Government has extended its 2001 paddy procurement program of the country’s second crop until the end of July this year, with intervention prices set well above market levels. In the Philippines, planting of the main season crop is near conclusion. Any adverse effects of a potential El Niño weather event on this crop are forecast to be small. The 2002 paddy output is forecast at 12.9 million tonnes, marginally down from the record achieved last season.
In Viet Nam, cultivation of the summer-autumn rice crop has benefited from a return to normal soil moisture levels in the primary growing delta areas. Official estimates continue to point to a paddy output of 32.3 million tonnes for the current season, 300 000 tonnes up from the previous year, despite an on-going shift of marginal lands out of rice cultivation.
Continued support from the Government of Myanmar to expand production together with more optimistic expectations regarding growing conditions, suggest a paddy crop of 21 million tonnes in 2002, marginally below the bumper crops of the past two seasons. Official sources in Laos are forecasting a 2.4 million tonnes paddy output in 2002, up 200 000 tonnes from last season’s record. The increase is consistent with the strong upward trend observed in the past few years, which has largely relied on large-scale investments in infrastructure, including irrigation. Similarly in Cambodia, an expansion of rice area and improvements in yields have led to official forecasts of a record paddy crop of 4.7 million tonnes, up 15 percent from 2001.
In the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, favourable early growing conditions have set the main paddy season on track and production is forecast at 2 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous year. In a bid to curtail excessive rice stocks, the Republic of Korea’s Government has set a milled rice production target of 5.2 million tonnes this season, about 0.3 million tonnes lower than the amount harvested in 2001. However, preliminary indications point to an overshooting of the target by 200 000 tonnes.
Near East: Favourable weather conditions in most countries have boosted domestic food production. However in Afghanistan, in addition to the effects of insecurity, the worst locust plague in 30 years in parts and floods in others have affected crop prospects. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission has just completed its fieldwork and a report will be issued soon. In Turkey, Syria and Jordan an average to above average cereal production is projected in 2002, reflecting adequate precipitation during the growing season. Following improved weather conditions, Iran expects a wheat production of 9.5 million tonnes, above average and a substantial recovery from the drought-affected crop of 7.5 million tonnes in 2001.
CIS in Asia: The wheat harvest in the 8 CIS countries in Asia this year is forecast at 19 million tonnes, which is about 2.3 million tonnes lower than the improved harvest of 2001. Most of the decline, about 3 million tonnes, is foreseen in Kazakhstan, which produces more than half of the region’s total wheat output. Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan have increased the area sown to wheat, while wheat supply in Tajikistan, Georgia and Uzbekistan is seen to remain tight. Given favourable weather conditions prevail, the coarse grain harvest this year is forecast at about 4.4 million tonnes, which is more than 500 000 tonnes lower than the harvest in 2001. Coarse grains mainly comprise barley, forecast at 2.8 million tonnes, and maize, forecast at 1.2 million tonnes.
Ample water availability in Uzbekistan has led to a significant expansion of the rice area in the country. Paddy output is officially forecast to reach almost 200 000 tonnes in 2002, double the drought-afflicted crop of the previous year.
Northern Africa: Harvesting of the 2002 wheat crop is underway throughout the subregion. Latest information points to an aggregate output of 12.7 million tonnes, similar to last year’s crop and above the average of the past five years. Growing conditions improved in the latter part of the season in Algeria and Morocco with the arrival of much needed rainfall, after an extended dry period. Above average outputs are forecast in both countries at 3.4 million tonnes and 2 million tonnes respectively. Also in Egypt, where most of the crop is irrigated, output is forecast to be above-average and about 6 percent above last year’s level at 6.6 million tonnes.
Harvesting of the coarse grain crops, principally barley and maize, the latter in only two countries, is also underway. As for wheat, production prospects are better then earlier anticipated, mostly reflecting the arrival of late rains in Morocco to the benefit of the barley crop. Aggregate output of coarse grains in the subregion is now put at 10.1 million tonnes.
Although still subject to an area ceiling, the paddy area in Egypt is expected to rise sharply this season, which together with a steady improvement in yields, is anticipated to boost production to a record 6.1 million tonnes. This would be some 800 000 tonnes above last season.
Western Africa: In western Africa, the first rains were received in early March in southern parts of the coastal countries along the Gulf of Guinea, where they permitted planting of the first maize crop. Rains reached northern parts in early April, allowing the planting of millet and sorghum. In Sierra Leone the agriculture sector is improving with rehabilitation programmes underway, but civil disturbances in Liberia continue to prevent most activities. In the Sahel, the rainy season started in late April or May in the south of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad, allowing land preparation and planting of coarse grains to start. Planting will progress northwards following the development of the rains. Availability of seeds, is generally adequate but localized shortages are likely in Mauritania and Cape Verde following the 2001 reduced harvest and the unseasonable heavy rains in early January, and in Guinea Bissau as a result of the delayed rains.
The 2002 paddy season has started in several countries of West Africa and weather conditions are generally favourable. In Nigeria, early prospects for the 2002 crop were particularly promising following a rise in import duties earlier this year that raised domestic prices, and also the introduction of the much publicized NERICA hybrid which is expected to boost yields. However the late arrival of rains in much of northern Nigeria has raised fears of crop failure in that part of the country. In Sierra Leone, paddy output is expected to continue to rise as a result of increased plantings by returning refugees and farmers previously displaced, as well as improved conditions for the distribution of agricultural inputs. Civil conflicts in Liberia continue to disrupt rice cultivation.
Central Africa: In central Africa, growing conditions are favourable so far in Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Agricultural activities are hampered by civil disturbances in both the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
|Wheat||Coarse grains||Rice (paddy)||Total|
|( . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )|
|WORLD||581.4||578.2||906.5||903.5||593.3||593.0||2 081.3||2 074.6|
|(397)1/||(397)1/||(1 885)2/||(1 878)2/|
|Developing countries||256.9||260.4||374.7||371.7||567.0||567.5||1 198.7||1 199.7|
Eastern Africa: Harvesting of the 2002 wheat crop has been completed in Sudan. Tentative estimates indicate an output of 315 000 tonnes, some 5 percent above last year’s crop and similar to the average of the previous five years. In Ethiopia and Kenya, the early outlook is generally favourable notwithstanding unseasonably dry conditions in parts of Kenya.
Planting of the 2002 main season coarse grains is underway in several countries in the subregion while crops are maturing and nearing harvesting in others. Early prospects are mixed. In Ethiopia, the outlook for the 2002/03 coarse grain crop has improved with beneficial rains in the secondary “belg” season that also helped land preparation for the main “meher” season crops. In Kenya, the outlook is rather mixed with heavy rains and floods in parts destroying crops while unusually dry conditions in others result in wilting crops. In Uganda and Tanzania, prospects for the 2002 main season coarse grains are generally favourable despite localized dry conditions. In Somalia, good rains in April and May in major crop producing areas have improved crop prospects. However, a recent escalation of conflict has displaced a large number of people and may negatively impact crop development. In Sudan and Eritrea, planting of the 2002 main season crops is about to start.
Southern Africa: Harvesting of the 2002 main season coarse grains is well advanced. FAO's latest forecast puts the subregion's aggregate output at 14.7 million tonnes, virtually unchanged from last year's reduced crop. Maize output is estimated at 13.6 million tonnes, only slightly above the 2001 level. Crops were adversely affected by a dry spell from January to March in large areas of the subregion or, in some parts, by excessive rains. Production declined for the second consecutive year in most countries, except in South Africa and Mozambique. In South Africa, dry conditions this season were less severe and the maize output is forecast to be 5 percent above last year’s reduced crop at 8.9 millions tonnes. This mainly reflects an increase of 19 percent in the area planted and generally satisfactory weather conditions. By contrast, in Zimbabwe the combined effects of widespread drought and a further decline in plantings in the commercial sector, due to land acquisition activities, resulted in a maize output of only one-quarter of the good level of two years ago. In Zambia, prolonged dry weather in five of the nine provinces, sharply reduced crop yields. Production of maize is estimated at 606 000 tonnes, 24 percent lower than the reduced level of 2001 and 42 percent below the normal level of 2000. In Malawi, maize production declined 10 percent from last year’s poor harvest to about 1.5 million tonnes. This mainly reflects dry weather during February-March and early cessation of rains in April. Consumption of green maize before the harvest, due to the severe food shortages early in the year, further diminished the output. Severe dry weather and reductions in coarse grain production were also experienced in Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. In Lesotho, excessive rains at planting, followed by hail and frost, resulted in a decline of one-third in maize output from the already poor level of the previous year. By contrast, in Mozambique this year’s maize production increased 8 percent from the previous year to 1.2 million tonnes. However, production was sharply reduced in southern provinces. In Angola, the coarse grain harvest declined by 6 percent due to late rains and military activities, but output of main maize crop remained unchanged.
Planting of the 2002 wheat crop, to be harvested from October, is completed. Early indications point to a likely decline in production from the previous year. In South Africa, the largest producer of the subregion, planting intentions indicated a decline of 7 percent from last season. This reflects increased summer crop plantings and problems experienced with the grading system of wheat. In Zimbabwe, the outlook is unfavourable due to land acquisition activities in commercial farms. Plantings and yields are expected to be sharply reduced. Latest information confirms that the subregion's aggregate 2001 wheat crop, is estimated close to 2.9 million tonnes, about 4 percent above the previous year's level and above average.
In Madagascar, excessive precipitation from a recent cyclone has disrupted the 2002 paddy harvest, leading to concerns over both the quantity and quality of the crop. Paddy output this year is forecast at 2.4 million tonnes, down by 200 000 tonnes from 2001.
Harvesting of the 2002 irrigated wheat crop has been recently completed in the main producing areas of the northwest of Mexico. Production is provisionally estimated at some 3.2 million tonnes, about average and slightly below the 2001 crop.
Planting of the 2002/03 first season coarse grain and bean crops has started in all Central American countries with the arrival of the seasonal rains. The rains have been particularly heavy in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, with flooding as a result in some parts. Considerable damage to rural housing and infrastructure has been reported, but no significant damage has been caused so far to newly planted crops. Normal seasonal precipitation levels are reported in Guatemala and Panama. An overall recovery is expected in production from last year, when first season crops (main crop) were severely affected by drought and other adverse weather phenomena. In the Caribbean, planting of this year’s maize crop has started in Cuba and Haiti, where dry weather conditions have prevailed until mid-May. By contrast, heavy rains and flooding in early June in the southern parts of the latter country have resulted in damage to housing and infrastructure and possible damage to crops. A detailed assessment of the damage has not been made available yet. Heavy rains were also reported by mid-June in Dominican Republic, where planting of rainfed maize and sorghum as well as sowing of other minor food crops had started in May.
In Central America, adverse weather has caused some disruption to planting of the new season’s rice crops. Many countries in the region had delayed planting by over a month in anticipation of rainfall, however, recent precipitation has now allayed fears of a significantly lower 2002 paddy crop.
Planting of the 2002 wheat crop is well advanced in Brazil, where normal to abundant rains have increased soil moisture and thus benefited the crop. The area sown is estimated to have increased considerably compared to 2001 and an early official production forecast points to a well above-average output. In Argentina, planting was just underway in mid-June and the intended area is officially forecast to decline slightly from the level reached in 2001, largely reflecting the trading sectors uncertainty in the face of the difficult economic and financial situation still affecting the country. In Chile and Uruguay planting of the wheat crop has also just started; considerably increased plantings are intended in the latter country. In the Andean countries, the 2002 wheat harvest in Peru is underway and early forecasts point to an above-average output of some 190 000 tonnes, while in Bolivia, land is being prepared for planting of the second season (winter) wheat crop.
Harvesting of the 2002 coarse grain crops, principally maize, is well advanced in the southern areas of the subregion. In Argentina, latest information points to a maize output of some 13.5 million tonnes, above earlier forecasts, but well below the average of the past 5 years. The low output is the result of intensive rains at planting, which contributed to reduce the area sown, and weeks of dry weather during the growing period which affected yields. In Brazil, beneficial rains in May improved growing conditions of the second season (“zafrinha”) maize crop. A bumper crop is expected and aggregate maize output for 2002 is provisionally estimated at an above-average 36 million tonnes. In Chile, a below-average maize output has been harvested while in Uruguay, a satisfactory output has been collected. In the Andean countries, land is being prepared for planting of the second season coarse grain crops in Bolivia, while in Peru, harvesting of the 2002 white maize crop has been virtually completed and that of yellow maize is at its peak. A bumper white and yellow maize crop is anticipated. In Ecuador, harvesting of he maize crop is underway and a decline from the 2001 above-average level is expected following heavy rains that for weeks negatively affected crops. Nevertheless, a near-average output is tentatively forecast. In Colombia, planting of the 2002/03 first season maize crop is underway. The area planted is expected to increase from last year’s already above-average level. In Venezuela, improved weather conditions in recent weeks have benefited planting of the 2002 maize crop and other food crops.
The harvest of the 2002 paddy crop in Brazil is almost complete. Official sources have estimated an output of 11 million tonnes, much below prior expectations, but 600 000 tonnes higher than in 2001. Argentina’s harvest is now officially put at 680 000 tonnes, 20 percent down from the 2001 outcome and almost 50 percent below the 1997 record. A price-induced switch out of rice, recent MERCOSUR agreed area cuts and economic instability, are the main factors responsible for this decline.
Wheat production in the United States is set to fall further this year and could drop below 50 million tonnes, for the first time since 1993. The area of winter wheat to be harvested in 2002 is now forecast at 12.2 million hectares, about 4 percent down from 2001 and one of the smallest areas ever recorded. Moreover, prospects for yields have deteriorated with the persistence of drought conditions in some of the major producing states. The latest official forecast for the 2002 winter wheat output is 33.7 million tonnes, 9 percent below the previous year’s level. Regarding spring wheat, planting was virtually complete by the end of May and, if early indications in the USDA's Prospective Plantings Report have materialized, the area will be down by about 3 percent from 2001 to 7.3 million hectares. Thus, with current expectations for harvested area and yields pointing to normal levels at best, the spring wheat output is also set to decrease compared to the previous year. As of early June, the country’s aggregate wheat production in 2002 was forecast at 49.6 million tonnes, 7 percent below the previous year’s level. In Canada, latest information confirms earlier expectations of a decline in the overall wheat area for the 2002 harvest. The latest official forecast puts the wheat area to be harvested later this year at 10.5 million hectares, about 4 percent down from the previous year. The average yield expected is currently put at nearly 2.2 tonnes per hectare, somewhat less then earlier forecast following some extremely dry conditions in Saskatchewan in Western Canada, but still well above the previous year’s reduced level. The country’s aggregate wheat output is now forecast at just over 23 million tonnes, about 2.7 million tonnes up from 2001.
Regarding coarse grains, in the United States, planting of the main crops was virtually complete by mid-June. According to the USDA's Prospective Plantings Report, a 4 percent increase in maize area is expected after reductions last year due to adverse wet weather while, by contrast, a sharp 12 percent decrease is forecast for sorghum. Based on the indicated areas planted, given the mostly good condition of newly emerged crops in mid-June, and assuming normal weather conditions prevail for the remainder of the season, aggregate 2002 coarse grains output in the United States is forecast at about 267 million tonnes, which would be about 2 percent up on the previous year. Of the total, maize would account for 245 million tonnes. In Canada, latest indications continue to point to an increase in the coarse grain area planted this spring. The barley area is expected to increase by 11 percent to some 4.8 million hectares, that of oats, by almost 30 percent, to some 1.6 million hectares, and that of maize, by 8 percent to 1.3 million tonnes. Yield prospects for coarse grains are also more favourable than in the previous year, and the aggregate coarse grain output is forecast at 28.2 million tonnes, 23 percent up from last year.
Planting of the 2002 paddy crop is drawing to a conclusion in the United States. The first official estimate of the new paddy crop is at 9.4 million tonnes, suggesting the second largest crop on record for the country. A return to normal yields is foreseen to be behind the decline of 200 000 tonnes from last year’s record.
In the EC, output of wheat in 2002 is forecast to increase sharply after a significant expansion in the winter wheat area, mostly at the expense of coarse grains. Some land is also reported to have been shifted to wheat from non-cereal crops and set-aside. Furthermore, generally mild winter conditions have favoured crop development during the winter and spring throughout most of the Community and yield prospects are good. Harvesting has already begun in the most southern parts such as the south of Spain and Italy. Production is expected to increase the most in France and the United Kingdom, but significant increases are also reported for Italy and Spain. Output in Germany is forecast to remain close to last year’s level. The Community’s aggregate wheat crop is forecast at just under 106 million tonnes compared to 91.7 million tonnes last year. The outlook for the coarse grain crops is less certain. Although the overall area sown is expected to decline, largely reflecting the shift of winter barley land to wheat, this year’s favourable conditions could lead to better yields. FAO currently forecasts the Community’s aggregate coarse grains output at 106.7 million tonnes, which is 2 million tonnes below last year’s level but this forecast could be revised significantly in the coming months as crops get closer to maturity.
The 2002 paddy crops in the EC have now been planted, and the overall area is expected to remain close to the previous season. The EC has not yet agreed on a new Rice Common Market Regime since the 2000 reform proposal was shelved, but a new draft is currently under review. Current proposals by Spain and Italy envisage substantial reductions in intervention prices but increased compensatory payments to producers.
In central and eastern Europe, prospects for the 2002 cereal harvests are mixed. In the Czech Republic, production is forecast to decline after particularly good yields last year, but will remain about average. In Hungary, widespread heavy rains in the first half of June were very beneficial for the spring wheat and maize crops, although too late to benefit the winter wheat, which is due to be harvested from the end of June. Wheat output is forecast at between 4 million to 4.5 million tonnes, less than last year’s good crop but about the average of the past five years. In view of the recent good rains, the prospects for maize yields have improved and output is forecast at about 6.5 million tonnes. In Poland, weather conditions so far this season have been generally favourable for cereal crops. Wheat production could decline somewhat however as a result of smaller plantings and a reported reduction in use of fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides in response to lower returns for wheat last season. Based on the above, the total output of wheat in 2002 is expected to fall to about 9 million tonnes, from almost 9.3 million tonnes in the previous year. In the Slovak Republic, cereals are doing well after a mild winter. Wheat output is forecast to remain similar to the previous year’s level and the average at about 1.6 million tonnes.
In the Balkan countries, cereal production in Bulgaria could increase this year mostly as a result of better yields expected. Wheat output is forecast to reach at least 4 million tonnes. In the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), cereal output looks set to fall this year. The winter wheat crop was affected by unfavourable weather this spring and prospects for the summer maize crop are still uncertain. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, dry conditions are again impacting on cereal production. Although wheat output could recover somewhat after serious drought last year, yields will likely remain below potential. In Romania, drought conditions are affecting important producing areas in the west, south and east of the country. The winter wheat crop is now forecast at 4.9 million tonnes, compared to 7.8 tonnes last year. Production of the major coarse grain crops could also be down.
In the Baltics, (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) the 2001 cereal harvest could remain close to last years good level, with aggregate wheat and coarse grain production estimated to remain stable at 1.5 million tonnes and 2.6 million tonnes respectively.
CIS in Europe: Prospects for the 2002 cereal crops have deteriorated since the previous report in May, mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions both for winter and spring crops in the Russian Federation. The total output of wheat in the region is now forecast at about 62 million tonnes, which would be more than 8 million tonnes down from last year’s highly improved harvest but still above the average of the past five years. The 2002 wheat harvest in the Russian Federation is now forecast at 40.5 million tonnes, which would be about 6 million tonnes down from last year’s level, despite a significant increase in the planted area. The decrease reflects the expected impact of excessively dry weather this spring on crop yields. Also in the Ukraine, wheat output is expected to fall from last year, to about 19 million tonnes, despite an estimated increase in the area sown.
Similarly, for coarse grains, dry spring weather has dampened prospects for this year’s production. The region’s aggregate output of coarse grains is now forecast at some 51 million tonnes of coarse grains in 2002, which is about 6 million tonnes lower than the harvest in 2001. Most of the decline is foreseen in barley output in Russia (3.4 million tonnes) and Ukraine (nearly 2 million tonnes).
The Russian Federation appears on course for a favourable paddy outturn in 2002, where output is forecast to surpass 500 000 tonnes, slightly above last year, due to increased local Government support and higher domestic prices for rice.
In Australia, prospects for the 2002 winter grain crops have deteriorated in the past two months due to lack of rainfall for planting. It is reported that by early June, planting pace was well behind normal and less than half of the expected 2002 winter crop had been sown. Even assuming sufficient rainfall arrives in the latter part of June and July, the final winter grain area is likely to be less than earlier expected. The wheat area is now forecast to fall by 6 percent from the previous year to about 11.8 million hectares. Moreover, with a large proportion of the crop planted after the optimal period, yields are also likely to be down from the previous year and below average. The latest official forecast for the 2002 wheat crop, which was released in early June, and assumes the arrival of sufficient rainfall in June to allow for more planting to take place, put the wheat harvest at 20.5 million tonnes, 15 percent down from last year and the lowest level since 1997. Output of barley is also forecast to fall, to about 6.1 million tonnes from almost 7.5 million tonnes in the previous year, also reflecting lower area sown and lower yields.
The summer coarse grain harvest is virtually completed and production is estimated to have declined in 2002. Output of sorghum is estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes compared to 2.1 million tonnes in the previous year.
In Australia, the official estimate of the 2002 paddy harvest has been raised by 100 000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes. However, it remains considerably below the previous season’s record crop, owing to a fall in plantings caused by water scarcity and a return to normal yields.