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USDA World Agricultural Production

12 June 2013

USDA World Agricultural Production - June 2013USDA World Agricultural Production - June 2013

USDA World Agricultural Production

Crop Production- RussiaThe USDA forecasts Russia wheat production for 2013/14 at 54.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 3.6 percent from last month but up 16.3 million or 43 percent from last year, when severe drought sharply reduced output in five of the country’s six main grain-producing regions. Harvested area is estimated at 24.7 million hectares against 21.3 million last year. Winter wheat accounts for about half of Russia’s total wheat area, and for about two-thirds of the output due to inherently higher yield. Total wheat yield is forecast at 2.19 tons per hectare, up 21 percent from last year and 2 percent above the 5-year average.

Winter-wheat conditions deteriorated during May in Russia’s Southern and North Caucasus Districts following an extended period of hot, dry weather that depleted subsurface moisture reserves and placed stress on winter crops. These two districts together produce about 60 percent of the country’s winter wheat. Meanwhile, conditions in the Central District are outstanding, and output from the Volga District is likely to rebound significantly from last year, when wheat yield fell to one of the lowest levels in 15 years. The planting of spring wheat in the Siberian District has encountered major delays resulting from several weeks of unfavorably wet weather in May. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, wheat planting in Siberia was 54 percent complete by May 28 compared to 89 percent by the same date last year. Spring-grain planting in Russia is mostly complete by early June but will occasionally continue until the middle of the month. 

Ukraine Wheat: Yield Forecast Falls to Slightly Below Average

The USDA forecasts Ukraine wheat production for 2013/14 at 19.5 million tons, down 2.5 million or 11 percent from last month, but up 3.7 million or 24 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 6.5 million hectares, up 0.9 million from last year, which was marked by excessive fall dryness that destroyed over 15 percent of the winter wheat. (Ukraine’s winter wheat is planted in the fall and harvested the following summer.) Yield for 2013/14 is estimated at 3.00 tons per hectare, down 10 percent from last month and 4 percent below the 5-year average.

The outlook for Ukraine wheat was quite favorable in early April as the crop broke dormancy and resumed vegetative growth in unusually good condition. The situation had deteriorated by mid-May, however, following six consecutive weeks of dry weather and unusually high temperatures. Conditions rebounded somewhat during the second half of May in areas that received beneficial rain, but satellite-derived vegetation indices indicate that overall yield prospects have dimmed since early spring. Harvest will begin in late June or early July and conclude in early August. 

European Union Wheat: Excessive Spring Rains Contribute to Crop Reductions

Wheat production in the European Union (EU) is estimated at 137.4 million tons, down 1.3 million tons or 1.0 percent from last month. The 2013/14 production estimate is above last year’s 132.1 million tons, but below the five-year average of 139.1 million tons. Area is estimated at 25.9 million hectares, down from last month’s estimate of 26.0 million hectares, but up 0.3 million from last year and equivalent to the five-year average. Yield is also down, estimated at 5.32 tons per hectare (T/Ha) down from 5.34 (T/Ha) last month, but up from 5.17 (T/Ha) last year.

Eastern EU countries have experienced excessive spring rainfall and colder-than-average spring temperatures, delaying crop development and reducing yield potential. Further south, unusually high temperatures and dryness stressed the Bulgarian wheat crop, lowering yield potential there as well.

The largest reductions in estimated production for June include Italy at 0.4 million tons, and the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria (each at about 0.2 million tons). Estimated harvested area for Italy wheat has been lowered from 1.9 million hectares to 1.82 million, to reflect the latest information from local analysts in Italy. 

Italy Corn: 2013/14 Production Estimate Lowered Due to Abnormally High Spring Rainfall Preventing Planting

Italy’s 2013/14 corn production is forecast at 8.0 million tons from 0.875 million hectares. Estimated production is down 1.1 million tons or 12 percent from last month, but remains 0.4 million tons or 5 percent above last year’s drought -damaged crop. Harvested area is down 0.1 million hectares or 10 percent from last month and from last year, and it is estimated at its lowest June 2013 3 level since 1992/93. Yield is forecast at 9.14 tons per hectare, down 2 percent from last month, but up 17 percent from last year.

Crop Production - Italy

Italy, typically the European Union (EU)’s second largest corn producer after France, is experiencing its second consecutive season with adverse growing conditions. Excessive rainfall began in March, interrupting and delaying planting activities. Because above-average rainfall continued throughout the spring, crop growth consistently lagged behind normal by about three weeks. At the beginning of June, sowing was still in progress, far beyond the normal schedule. Various sources in Italy estimate about 10-20 percent of the intended corn crop will not be planted.

Northern Italy Corn production is concentrated in northern Italy’s Po River Valley, where irrigation water originating from the Alps can be utilized. MODIS satellite vegetation indices (NDVI) depict biomass levels in the intensively farmed land of the Po River Valley in northern Italy to be below normal. June 2013 4

Although estimated corn production for Italy is significantly down this month, offsetting increases occurred elsewhere in the EU due to beneficial soil moisture and increased area estimates. Other large EU corn changes for June include Hungary (up 0.5 million) and Poland (up 0.4 million). Total EU corn production is forecast to increase by 0.1 million tons to 63.9 million.

Brazil Corn: Increase in Second-crop 2012/13 Corn Area; Record Yields

The USDA forecasts Brazil corn production for 2012/13 at a record 77.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month and up 4.0 million tons or 5 percent from the previous record in 2011/12. Area is estimated at a record 15.8 million hectares, up 200 thousand hectares from last month and up 600 thousand hectares or 2 percent from last year. Total corn yield is forecast at a record 4.87 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month. Brazil 2012/13 corn area is changed due to recent government reports.

Recent government reports raised the area estimate for second-crop corn, or Safrinha corn in Brazil. Brazil has two seasons for corn production. First season corn is planted in September and is harvested in March. A larger second-season, or Safrinha crop, accounts for more than 55 percent of national production. The Safrinha crop is planted after the early-season soybean harvest. Mato Grosso is the largest producer accounting for 38 percent. Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goiás taken together, produce 52 percent. Mato Grosso, Goiás, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul had beneficial rains since late February up until mid-April. Beneficial rains have continued for Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul; however, rains in Mato Grosso ended for about five weeks before returning. Most of the crop was midway through grainfill in Mato Grosso at that point. In early June it has rained about two inches, boosting prospects for later-planted corn.

Mato Grosso’s second-crop corn biomass development, observed from satellite analysis, appears to be lower than last year’s development in western and southeastern Mato Grosso. In central Mato Grosso which has 50 percent of the corn area, corn development looks similar to last year, but slightly less.

Yields for first-crop corn are expected to be at record levels. Safrinha corn yields are expected to be high, but not at record levels. Yield potential in Mato Grosso is determined by the length of the rainy season and this year the season ended when expected in mid-April. Mato Grosso achieved record Safrinha corn yields in 2011/12 and lower than record yields are expected in 2012/13.

European Union Rapeseed: Estimated Production Reduced Due to Poor Weather and Revised Area Estimates

The 2013/14 European Union (EU) rapeseed crop is forecast at 19.7 million tons, down 0.3 million or 1.5 percent from last month, but up 0.6 million tons or 3.3 percent from last year. The crop is estimated at 0.2 million tons below the five-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 6.4 million hectares, down 0.1 million or 1.2 percent from last month, but up 0.2 million or 3.4 percent from last year. The 5-year average for EU rapeseed area is 6.5 million hectares. Yield June 2013 5 is estimated at 3.07 tons per hectare (T/Ha), down from 3.08 T/Ha last month and equivalent to last year’s yield.

The decrease in estimated production is attributed to revised area data and continued poor weather conditions. Estimated output for the UK has been reduced for the second consecutive month to 1.9 million a month-to-month drop of 0.1 million tons, indicating the lowest level for UK rapeseed production since 2006/07. Area harvested in France is reduced based on revised estimates from FAS in Europe, due to extensive planting difficulties from too much rain. The area reduction has resulted in lowering French production from 5.2 to 4.95 million tons. Reports from both Romania and Bulgaria indicate lower area as well as lower production, partly due to heat and dryness during May.

Meanwhile, production in Germany was increased 0.16 million tons, due to a drying trend that allowed rapeseed to recover from excessive spring precipitation. The dryness accelerated plant growth before another onslaught of rain. The latest rains flooded rivers and streams, targeting the southeast German state of Bavaria. Flood damage was non-agricultural as it was limited primarily to along waterways.

Brazil Soybeans: Lower Production in 2012/13 due to Losses in the Northeast

The USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2012/13 soybean production at a record 82.0 million tons, down 1.5 million tons or 2 percent from last month but up 15.5 million tons or 23 percent from last year. Harvested 2012/13 soybean area is forecast at a record 27.7 million hectares, up 200 thousand hectares from last month and up 2.7 million hectares or 11 percent from last year. Soybean yield is forecast at 2.96 tons per hectare, a decrease of 3 percent from last month due to harvest reports from northeastern states.

Soybean harvest is complete in Brazil except for the second-crop soybeans in Paraná. In late January 2013, FAS/Washington and FAS/Brasilia traveled to Mato Grosso and Bahia states. At the time, soybean crop conditions in both states were observed to be very good. But irregular rainy-season rains have affected yields in Bahia and the other northeastern states of Piauí, Maranhão, and Pará. Production for these states has declined 1.5 million tons since the January Companhia Nacional do Abastecimento (CONAB) survey. These four states account for 7 percent of national production. The losses in the Northeast and smaller losses in Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul are partially offset by better than expected yields in Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná.

Brazilian farmers enthusiastically reacted to high soybean prices this year and increased area 11 percent to a record 27.7 million hectares. Brazil is the world’s largest producer of soybeans, passing the United States this past year when the United States suffered through its worst drought in 50 years.  

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