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Canada (2007-06-01)


In Canada, planting of the main 2007 grain crops is underway. Late season snowfall is reported to have improved moisture conditions in some areas where dryness prevailed from last year, but some parts, especially southern Saskatchewan would still benefit from more moisture. According the Statistics Canada Planting Intentions report of 24 April, Canadian farmers intend to reduce sharply the area planted to spring wheat (the major cereal), in favour of durum wheat, barley, oats or non-cereals such as canola or field peas, which are expected to generate better returns this year.


United States of America (2007-06-11)



Prospects for the 2007 cereal production in the United States are very favourable. In early June, the bulk of the wheat crop was still reported in good to excellent condition. With an almost 20 percent increase forecast in the area to be harvested this year, following increased plantings and much less winterkill, aggregate wheat output is forecast to reach a bumper 59 million tonnes, compared to 49 million tonnes in 2006. This would be the largest harvest since the record in 2003. Regarding coarse grains, the country is on track to produce its biggest ever maize crop in 2007. As of early June, maize planting was reported to be virtually complete and the area is estimated to be the largest since 1944, mostly in response to exceptionally strong domestic demand for maize-based ethanol production. Assuming average to above–average yields, should the generally favourable conditions experienced during the season continue, then a record output, well in excess of 300 million tonnes, could be achieved. So far the bulk of the crop is reported in good to excellent condition but as of early June, more rain is needed in some eastern Corn Belt states, where, otherwise, dry conditions could start to stress crops.




EU (2007-06-11)

In the European Union, latest prospects still point to an increase in cereal production in 2007 although, following exceptionally dry weather in some major producing parts in April, the aggregate cereal output will likely fall short of the forecasts earlier in the season. An estimated 2 percent increase in the aggregate cereal area in the 27 countries provides the basis for this year’s larger production forecast but yield expectations are somewhat mixed after varied weather conditions across the region. In France, the moisture availability didn’t improve much in May in central and northern parts, after dry conditions already throughout April, and there is expected to be a significant impact on yields. In Germany, rain in May improved conditions for developing crops after a very dry April but it probably arrived too late to avoid some loss of the yield potential. In Italy, where the Government declared a drought emergency in early May, good rains later in the month have reduced fears for severe crop losses. Good rains in the late spring in the United Kingdom and Poland reduced the likelihood of irreversible damage to crops in these two countries also. Spain continued to have favourable weather conditions this season with regular rain and mild temperatures and a sharp increase in cereal production is forecast this year following the last two years drought-reduced crops.
Prospects in the eastern EU countries are among the most unfavourable. In Romania, the total cereal output may remain close to last year’s reduced level, but the wheat crop may be the lowest since the severe drought year of 2003. In Bulgaria, the harvest prospects are very uncertain after unusual and rapidly changing weather throughout the season. However, it seems that some reasonable rains in mid-season were not sufficient to prevent significant yield losses and a below-average cereal crop is expected.

Moldova (2007-06-01)

Warm weather and generally favourable crop growing conditions during winter, coupled with lack of frost in March and April, have benefited development of the 2007 winter cereal crops. FAO has provided improved seed varieties this season as the country struggles to increase its capacity to meet seed requirements, but fertiliser and agro-chemical application remain below optimum since independence time. Latest reports indicate that the 2007 winter crops are generally in good conditions and winterkill has been insignificant. Provided that favourable weather conditions persist, the 2007 cereal production (winter and spring crops) is officially forecast at nearly 3 million tonnes, the highest level of the past two decades.

Aggregate cereal export during the marketing year 2007/08(July/June) are forecast to increase from the 2006/07 projected level of 360 000 tonnes.


Ukraine (2007-06-01)


Warm weather conditions and adequate soil moisture during winter encouraged farmers to plant relatively larger areas with winter cereals, while generally favourable weather and lack of frost in March and April favoured crop development and enabled farmers to complete spring cereal planting, almost a month ahead of schedule. This is in contrast to the normal seasonal conditions of cold snaps and frost in March-April, which can often compromise significant areas of winter cereals and delay spring planting.

Latest estimates indicate that some 6.6 million hectares have been sowed with winter cereals this year, more than half a million hectares up on last year. Winter cereals are reportedly in good conditions and prospects are for an above average harvest. The 2007 aggregate cereal output (winter and spring crops) is tentatively forecast at about 38 million tonnes, nearly 4 million tonnes up on last year’s level.

In view of favourable prospects for this year’s cereal crops, Ukraine lifted a ceiling on cereal exports in December 2006, and since then allowed 800 000 tonnes of exports. Aggregate cereal export for the 2007/08 marketing year (July/June) is forecast to increase for the 2006/07 level projected of some 10 million tonnes.




Australia (2007-06-11)


The outlook for the 2007 winter cereal crops is mixed across the country. In the eastern states, prospects are generally favourable following the timely arrival of rains in May. It is reported that farmers in South Australia have planted the largest area on record to winter crops, most of which is wheat, and favourable conditions allowed the bulk of planting to be carried out at the optimum time. In southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales, after a more patchy start to the season’s rainfall, soaking rains in early June have greatly improved the prospects for a return to average cereal production levels in 2007 after drought-reduced crops in recent years. By contrast, as of early June, many parts of Western Australian had not received sufficient rainfall to allow planting. However, it is still too early to estimate the final planted area asalthough the optimum time for planting is mid-May, crops can be sown until early July should there be a good rainfall.


A good crop is needed in 2007 to improve the country’s cereal supply situation after the severe drought in 2006, which cut production drastically, forcing exports to be reduced and causing a sharp reduction in stocks.


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