NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE AND OCEANIA
CANADA (20 September)
With the harvest of the bulk of the wheat crop in the main producing regions
in western Canada virtually complete, latest official forecasts
continue to point to a decrease in total wheat production in 2006,
of about 3 percent. The reduction is due to sharp declines in both
area and yield of durum wheat, production of which is now forecast
to reach just 3.4 million tonnes, compared to almost 6 million tonnes
in 2005. The reduction in the durum output is expected to more than
offset an increase in production of other wheat.
The non-durum wheat
area for harvest this year is estimated to be up by 17 percent,
which would more than offset lower yields expected and could result
in a crop of about 22.8 million tonnes, compared to 20.9 million
tonnes last year. However, it is noted that the quality of all crops
is above average, largely a reflection of the favourable conditions
allowing a rapid harvest at the optimum time.
For coarse grains, latest indications point to a marginal decrease
in the overall area, along with a significant switch to more oats
and less barley compared to the previous year. With yields expected
to return closer to average, as for wheat, the aggregate coarse
grain output is forecast at some 23.6 million tonnes, nearly 8 percent
down from last year.
UNITED STATES (15 September)
With the wheat harvest virtually complete by the end of August, the USDA’s
September Crop Report confirmed earlier estimates of an aggregate
wheat output of about 49 million tonnes, 14 percent below the 2005
crop and well below the average of the past five years. An overall
increase in plantings was more than offset by a sharp drop in yields
following drought during a large part of the 2005/06 season. Planting
of the winter wheat crop for harvest in 2007 was reported to be
about 20 percent done as of mid-September. This is somewhat behind
the average pace as fieldwork is hampered in some areas by wet fields,
and in others by excessive dryness.
With regard to coarse grains, harvesting of maize was underway
in the southern states as of early September. The area for harvest
is estimated to be about 4 percent down from the previous year but
better yields are expected, and output is forecast up marginally
on last year’s at 282.3 million tonnes, which would be the
second largest crop on record after 2004. Crop conditions and yield
prospects improved across the northern Great Plains and the western
Corn Belt in August following favourable rainfall. Output of other
coarse grains is expected to decrease in 2006 after planted areas
were reduced and also because smaller yields are forecast.
EU (26 June)
Total cereal production in the EU in 2006 is forecast at 269 million tonnes, which is 9 million tonnes higher than last year. The increase is mainly accounted for by France, Germany and Spain. Output of wheat is forecast to increase to 128.6 million tonnes, almost 4 percent up from last year's already above-average crop. In France, despite dry conditions at the beginning of the season, yields are expected to be higher than last year and, combined with an increased area, production is forecast to rise by about 5 percent to almost 39 million tonnes. In Germany, the wheat area has not changed significantly this year but despite an abnormally cold spring, which delayed crop development, higher yields are expected, and production is forecast to rise to 25 million tonnes, 5 percent up from 2005. Spain is also expected to harvest a larger wheat crop this year of about 6.2 million tonnes, which although somewhat down from earlier expectations, would still be well above last year's drought-stricken crop of just 3.8 million tonnes. Among the other major wheat producers, output is expected to change little in the United Kingdom, where forecast is to remain close to the five-year average at 14.7, but could drop again this year in Poland to about 8.3 million tonnes because of harsh winter conditions and a significant delay encountered with the spring wheat sowing campaign. Regarding coarse grains, the total EU output is forecast at 138.2 million tonnes, 4.6 million tonnes up from 2005. For barley, as for wheat, most of the increase is expected in France, Germany and Spain, partly due to increased areas and partly due to improved yields expected. The latter is most relevant in Spain where a significant recovery in yields of all cereals is expected after the severe drought-reduced levels last year. Maize production is not expected to change much in 2006. Slightly larger crops in France and Italy are likely to be offset by smaller harvests in Hungary and Germany.
ALBANIA (20 September)
Weather conditions for the 2006 cereal crops were generally satisfactory. Abundant
rains in June allowed some recovery in crop conditions after the
May dry spell and improved production prospects. Output of wheat,
the main cereal crop, is estimated at around last year’s level
and the average of the past few years at 260 000 tonnes. Imports
of wheat would also remain close to last year’s level at about
390 000 tonnes, in order to meet normal utilization requirements
of around 650 000 tonnes.
BELARUS (13 September)
Latest reports show that cereal harvesting has been completed and
aggregate output is estimated at about 5.7 million tonnes, 250 000
tonnes down on last year’s good harvest. This aggregate includes
over 1 million tonnes of wheat, about 1.8 million tonnes of barley,
1.6 million tonnes of rye and 625 000 tonnes of maize.
The aggregate cereal import requirement during the 2006/07 marketing
year is forecast at about 695 000 tonnes, including 295 000 tonnes
of wheat, 270 000 tonnes of maize and 110 000 tonnes of barley.
Cereal exports in the same period includes 60 000 tonnes of rye.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (19 September)
Latest reports show that cereal harvesting is nearly complete and
aggregate output is estimated at just over 1 million tonnes, nearly
100 000 tonnes down from the five-year average harvest. This total
includes 180 000 tonnes of wheat, 750 000 tonnes of maize and 55
000 tonnes of barley. Cereal import requirement for the 2006/07
marketing year is forecast at about 570 000 tonnes, including 40
000 tonnes in food aid. Total import requirements include some 400
000 tonnes of wheat, 150 000 tonnes of maize and 20 000 tonnes of
BULGARIA (15 September)
The 2006 wheat harvest was virtually complete by the end of August,
and based on results to that date, the total output by the end of
the season is officially forecast to reach 3.2 million tonnes, 8
percent lower than last year’s crop and below average but
in line with expectations. However, for barley, contrary to earlier
indications, the total crop (winter and spring) has increased 13
percent from last year to and estimated 547 000 tonnes.
Severe winter conditions destroyed some of the crop, prompting
the reduction of the production forecast earlier in the year but
the yield of the surviving area turned out better than expected.
The area sown to maize in 2006 increased slightly but yields are
not expected to match the bumper levels achieved last year and output
may fall somewhat.
CROATIA (19 September)
Cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate output is estimated
at 3.1 million tonnes, slightly up on the harvest last year. This
aggregate includes 500 000 tonnes of wheat, 2.4 million tonnes of
maize and 160 000 tonnes of barley. Total cereal exports during
the 2006/07 marketing year are forecast at about 270 000 tonnes
of mainly maize and cereal imports in the same period are estimated
at 152 000 tonnes.
MOLDOVA (12 September)
Cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate output is estimated
at nearly 2.3 million tonnes, some 250 000 tonnes down on the good
harvest in 2005. Unfavourable weather conditions in winter compromised
the wheat crop significantly and the total wheat output is now estimated
at 700 000 tonnes, which is 350 000 tonnes down on the harvest in
2005. This year’s aggregate cereal harvest also includes some
1.3 million tonnes of maize and 260 000 tonnes of barley. Aggregate
cereal exports during the 2006/07 marketing year are forecast at
230 000 tonnes, which includes 55 000 tonnes of wheat, 80 000 tonnes
of barley and 95 000 tonnes of maize. Moldova exported some 323
000 tonnes of cereals during the 2005/06 marketing year.
ROMANIA (15 September)
Confirming earlier expectations, the 2006 wheat production is estimated at
5.3 million tonnes, 27 percent down from last year’s crop
and about 10 percent below the five-year average. The reduction
was largely a result of severe cold spells and extensive floods
over the winter. However, it is reported that, contrary to last
year, this year’s harvest has a higher proportion of food-quality
wheat, which is contributing to the increase in prices on the domestic
market. It is estimated that of the total crop, about 3.5 million
tonnes is fit for food consumption, which would more than cover
the domestic needs for the year, and imports, if any, will be for
fodder or seed. The maize harvest is reported to be underway as
of mid-September. Official forecasts point to a crop of about 10
million tonnes, virtually unchanged from last year’s output
and close to the average of the past five years.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION (13 September)
Cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate cereal output this
year is estimated at just over 71 million tonnes, more than 5 million
tonnes down from last year’s harvest. Severely cold weather
and thin snow cover in winter compromised winter wheat significantly
and aggregate wheat output, estimated at 41.5 million tonnes, is
more than 6 million tonnes down from the 2005 harvest. Barley output
is estimated at 17.2 million tonnes, rye at 2.8 million tonnes and
maize at 3.3 million tonnes.
Total cereal exports in the 2006/07 marketing year are forecast
at just over 9 million tonnes, some 3.2 million tonnes down on 2005/06.
Aggregate exports include some 6.88 million tonnes of wheat and
about 2.2 million tonnes of barley. The aggregate cereal import
requirement during the 2006/07 marketing year is forecast at about
2.2 million tonnes, including just over 1 million tonne of food-quality
wheat and 430 000 tonnes of rice.
Civil strife in Chechnya continues to disrupt social and economic
activities. The conflict has displaced more than 300 000 people,
187 000 of whom are internally displaced, 30 000 live in Ingushetia
and 9 000 live in Dagestan.
SERBIA (12 September)
Cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate output is estimated
at just over 8 million tonnes, some 1.5 million tonnes down on the
harvest in 2005. The lower than expected harvest is mainly due to
harsh winter weather that reportedly damaged more than 5 percent
of the winter cereals. The estimated cereal harvest includes some
1.8 million tonnes of wheat, 5.7 million tonnes of maize and 400
000 tonnes of barley. Cereal exports during the 2006/07 marketing
year are forecast at about 405 000 tonnes and includes 100 000 tonnes
of wheat, 280 000 tonnes of maize and 25 000 tonnes of barley. High
quality food-wheat imports for the same period are forecast at about
110 000 tonnes, in addition to 10 000 tonnes of rice and 10 000
tonnes of barley.
UKRAINE (13 September)
Cereal harvesting in Ukraine has been completed and aggregate output
is estimated at 34.5 million tonnes compared with 37.4 million tonnes
in 2005. Harsh winter conditions compromised significant areas planted
with winter cereals but favourable weather conditions in spring
allowed some replanting and replenished soil moisture improving
yields. Wheat was the most affected crop, output of which is down
by about 5 million tonnes compared with 18.7 million tonnes harvest
in 2005. The estimated harvest also includes some 12 million tonnes
of barley (8.9 million tonnes in 2005) and 6.3 million tonnes of
Aggregate cereal exports during the 2006/07 marketing year are
forecast at 9.8 million tonnes, compared with about 13.2 million
tonnes in 2005/06. This total includes some 2.9 million tonnes of
wheat, 4.3 million tonnes of barley and about 2.5 million tonnes
AUSTRALIA (22 September)
As the winter grain season progresses towards the start of harvest (about November
in most parts), earlier predications of a drier than average winter
cropping season in 2006 have materialized. Throughout most cropping
regions crops have been stressed by lack of moisture, and in some
parts this has been compounded by particularly hot temperatures.
The latest official forecast for winter grain production released
in the ABARE September Crop Report, has been revised downward sharply.
Output of wheat in 2006 is now forecast at just 16.4 million tonnes,
35 percent down from last year and well below the five-year average.
Output of barley is seen to fall by 41 percent to just 5.8 million
tonnes. Early prospects for the summer cereals to be planted in
the coming weeks are somewhat mixed. The sorghum area could be maintained
about the level of last year as plenty fallow land is available
in summer crop areas because of reduced winter plantings. However,
good spring rains will be vital to allow planting to proceed and
for crop establishment. The rice area is expected to decrease sharply
in response to the reduced availability of irrigation supplies available
after the dry winter.