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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 24-July-2018


  1. Aggregate 2018 cereal production forecast close to average level

  2. Wheat exports in 2018/19 expected close to previous year

  3. Export prices of wheat increased over last six months

Cereal production in 2018 forecast close to average level

Harvesting of the winter crops started in June, while the harvest of the spring crops will start in August. Aggregate cereal production in 2018 is estimated at 18.6 million tonnes, 7 percent below the high level of 2017, but close to the five-year average. Wheat output, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the total cereal production, is estimated at 13.7 million tonnes, 7 percent below the high level of last year. The decline in production is mainly due to the reduction in the area planted following the implementation of the Government’s Programme for 2016-2021, which intends to reduce the wheat area planted from 12.4 to 10.1 million hectares in favour of more profitable oil crops. According to the Programme, the Government has stopped issuing subsidized credits for wheat production. As a result, the wheat planted area declined to 11.4 million hectares in 2018, down 0.5 million hectares from the previous year. Production of barley, the second most important cereal crop, is estimated to be close to the high levels of 2017.

Wheat exports in 2018/19 expected close to previous year’s level

The country remains the main exporter of wheat in the CIS subregion and it plays an important role in ensuring subregional food security. Aggregate cereal exports in the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at about 9.2 million tonnes, close to the high level of the 2017/18 season. Wheat exports (including wheat flour in grain equivalent) are expected at 8 million tonnes, 300 000 tonnes below the high level of the previous year due to the expected reduction in domestic production.

Export prices of wheat increased over last six months

Wheat export quotations increased by 10 percent since January 2018, supported by trends in the international markets.

Domestic prices of wheat flour increased as well, but were below the levels of the previous year, reflecting good domestic supplies from a bumper crop in 2017.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple, rose seasonally from September 2017 until June 2018, when the newly harvested crops started to arrive on the local markets. However, in June, prices of potatoes were more than 20 percent below their exceptionally high values of a year earlier, when shortages in subregional production led to sharp increases.

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