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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 11-June-2018


  1. Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average level

  2. Grain exports in 2018/19 marketing year forecast close to previous year’s record

  3. Export and domestic prices of wheat increased over last three months

Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average level

Harvesting of the 2018 winter crops will start in mid-June. The area planted with winter cereals is officially estimated at 7.2 million hectares, a slight increase from the above-average level of the previous year. Weather conditions during the January-April period were favourable for wintering of cereals, while a moisture deficit caused by a dry period at the beginning of May was compensated by abundant precipitations at the end of May-beginning of June. Planting of spring cereals is about to be completed under generally favourable conditions. As a result, the 2018 cereal output is set at 63.6 million tonnes, 6 percent above last year’s below-average level. The increase mainly reflects favourable prospects for maize production, which is anticipated to rise from 16 percent to 28.2 million tonnes, well above the five-year average, following an increase in planted area. Wheat output is expected at 26 million tonnes, close to the 2017 high level, as the increase in area planed was offset by a year-on-year decline in yields due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Cereal exports in 2018/19 forecast close to previous year’s record

Total cereal exports in the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at about 40.6 million tonnes, close to the previous year’s record level. Strong import demand and competitive prices for maize are supposed to keep cereal exports at high levels for the second consecutive year. Maize shipments are forecast at a record level of 20 million tonnes, about 2 million above the average level of 2017/18, owing to higher domestic production.

By contrast, total wheat exports (wheat and wheat flour, in grain equivalent) are set at 16 million tonnes, about 7 percent below the high level of 2017/18. Barley exports are also expected to decline by 9 percent to 4.3 million tonnes due to a smaller domestic crop in 2018.

Export and domestic prices of wheat increased over last three months

Export prices of wheat increased since December 2017 on stronger demand from traditional importers. However, export prices of milling wheat eased in May 2018, mainly reflecting a slowdown in trading activity before the new harvest.

Domestic prices of wheat continued to rise over the previous three months. Wholesale prices of milling wheat and wheat flour strengthened in May 2018 and were well above their levels of a year-ago, supported by a weakening of the local currency and sustained domestic demand for milling quality wheat.

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