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USDA World Agricultural Production

11 July 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 11 July 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 11 July 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production

Kazakhstan Wheat: Dry Weather Reduces Yield Prospects

USDA forecasts 2014/15 Kazakhstan wheat production at 13.5 million tons, down 1.0 million or 6.9 percent from last month and down 0.4 million or 3.2 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 12.7 million hectares against 13.0 million last year. The decrease in estimated output is based on a reduction in the forecast yield due to three months of persistent dryness in north-central Kazakhstan, the country’s main wheat-production zone. The reported cumulative precipitation from the beginning of April through the end of June is less than half of normal, and satellite-derived evapotranspiration data indicate severe crop stress during the month of June as spring grains were advancing through the vegetative growth stage. Yield is forecast at 1.06 tons per hectares, down 6.9 percent from last month, down 1.2 percent from last year, and 2.6 percent below the 5-year average. Kazakhstan wheat enters the critical flowering stage in mid- to late July, and July weather typically plays a key role in determining final yield. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143).

Australia Wheat: Production Forecast Revised Up

USDA forecasts the 2014/15 Australia wheat production at 26 million tons, up 0.5 million or 2.0 percent from last month, but down 1.0 million or 3.8 percent from last year. The area forecast is 13.8 million hectares, up 0.2 million or 1.5 percent from last month and up 0.3 million or 2.1 percent from last year. A favorable start to the season in most areas allowed sowing operations to be completed by June. The planted area increase is largely due to expectations of better gross margins as compared to other winter crops. Growing conditions for Australia’s 2014/15 wheat crop are favorable across most regions of the cropping zone. Continued normal rainfall during the growing season will be critical to achieving the forecast yield potential, particularly in those areas where soil moisture levels are presently low such as in Queensland. (For more information, please contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0135).

EU Wheat: German Production Lifts EU Crop, Despite Drought in Spain

USDA estimates the 2014/15 European Union (EU) wheat crop at 147.9 million tons, up 1.6 million or 1.1 percent from last month and up 4.6 million or 3.2 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 26.6 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month and 0.8 million hectares or 3.2 percent above last year’s harvested area. Yield is estimated at 5.57 tons per hectare (MT/Ha), above last month’s 5.52 MT/Ha, but below last year’s 5.57 MT/Ha. The 5- year average yield is 5.34 MT/Ha.

Mostly favorable weather during June in central Europe further improved prospects for a nearrecord EU wheat harvest. Prior concerns about winter and spring dryness in central Europe were alleviated by well-timed rain. Essential rainfall occurred at critical early development periods, followed by heavier rains during grain fill in May and June. June crop travel in Germany and Hungary by FAS staff confirmed the good condition of the wheat crop. As a result of beneficial weather, estimated production in the EU’s second largest producer, Germany, was raised 1.3 million tons. Additionally, relatively large changes were made to Czech Republic, Hungary, and Sweden – each up 0.3 million tons from the previous month.

The now harvested wheat crop in Spain experienced a sudden and early end to its rainy season, prior to the end of its growing season. Unfavorably dry conditions in Spain have led to a 0.6- million-ton reduction in estimated production. Meanwhile in the Balkan Peninsula, heavy rains and flooding reduced crop potential in the export countries of Romania and Bulgaria, likely damaging wheat and lowering quality to feed standards. (For more information, please contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138).

Canada Wheat: 2014/15 Area Harvested Down from 2013/14

USDA estimates 2014/15 Canada wheat production at 28.0 million tons, down 25 percent from last year record level and down 1.8 percent from last month. Area is estimated at 9.6 million hectares, down 8.0 percent from last year and down 2.0 percent from the previous month. Yield is forecast at 2.92 tons per hectare, down 19 percent from last year’s record but essentially unchanged from the previous month.

Statistics Canada’s June Principal Field Crop Area report estimated wheat seeded area at 24.5 million acres or 9.9 million hectares, down nearly 2 percent from its previous report and down 7.4 percent from last year. Farmers seeded less wheat in 2014 from the previous year due to winter transportation and delivery problems, which resulted in significantly high carry-over stocks. Area seeded is forecast to return close to the 5-year average. All three major producers (Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba) reported roughly a 7.5 percent decrease in area seeded.

Farmers were unable to fulfill their March planting intentions because of wet, cool weather that hampered fieldwork in Eastern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba. Alberta, however, was able to fulfill its planting intentions because of nearly ideal planting conditions. Cool, wet weather is still impeding crop development across the Western Prairies. Despite these conditions, Saskatchewan and Alberta reported in early July that roughly 80 percent of the wheat is in good to excellent condition. (For more information, please contact Arnella Trent 202-720-0881).

Vietnam Rice: 2014/15 Production Forecast Higher

USDA forecasts total milled rice production in Vietnam in 2014/15 at 28.2 million tons, up 0.4 million or 1.4 percent from last month and up 0.7 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 7.8 million hectares, unchanged from both last month and last year. Yield is estimated at a record 5.80 tons per hectare, up nearly 1 percent from last year. Statistics from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) indicate that 2013/14 rice production was higher than previously expected, resulting in an upward revision of approximately 200,000 tons (milled basis). These historical seasonal estimates indicated that farmers achieved higher than expected yields for the spring crop, which is the largest of the three annual rice crops. The spring crop typically accounts for approximately 46 percent of total production, followed by the autumn crop at 35 percent and the winter crop at 19 percent. The new seasonal estimates altered the outlook for potential yields in 2014/15, as Vietnam has been able to achieve steady trend yield growth on an annual basis for the past 20 years. (For more information, please contact Michael Shean at 202-720-7366).

Australia Cotton: Low Reservoir Levels Likely to Reduce Irrigated Area

USDA forecasts the 2014/15 Australia cotton crop at 2.7 million bales, down 0.4 million or 13 percent from last month. Harvested area is forecast at 0.30 million hectares, down 0.02 million or 6.3 percent from last month. Yield is forecast at 1,960 kilograms per hectare, marginally below the 5-year average of 1,990 kilograms.

Lower planted area is anticipated as a result of reduced irrigation availability at sowing, which will commence in September. Irrigated cotton area accounts for about 90 percent of Australia’s total cotton output. Dryland cotton planting tends to be more opportunistic and depends on the seasonal weather forecast, and conditions and prices at sowing. Irrigated cotton yields are substantially higher than dryland yields and the difference widens in low rainfall years. It is expected that reservoir levels will remain below 2013 levels thereby severely constraining the irrigated cotton area for the 2014 crop. Current reservoir levels are 40 to 70 percent below last year’s levels. Assuming normal rainfall and recharge from now until sowing, the available irrigation supply will be lower than in 2013. (For more information, please contact James Crutchfield at 202-690-0135).

India Cotton: Poor Monsoon Rainfall Distribution Lowers Prospects for 2014/15

USDA has revised the forecast for the 2014/15 India cotton production to 28 million bales (480- pound bales), down 0.5 million bales from last month. The revision is primarily based on reports of significant delays in planting due to the late start and generally poor distribution of the 2014 monsoon rainfall across the country. Cotton sown area is forecast at 11.8 million hectares.Yield is forecast at 517 kilograms per hectare (kg/Ha), down 1.7 percent from last month. In the past five years India’s cotton area and yields have averaged 11.5 million hectares and 530 kg/Ha.

According to the Government of India’s Meteorological Department, the advance of the 2014 southwest
monsoon into the major cotton growing areas of north central and northwestern India is now delayed by more than two weeks. Overall, at the end of June, the monsoon rainfall was 93 percent of normal across India. Regional estimates indicate that the monsoon is at 85 percent of normal in northwest India, 94 percent in central India, 93 percent in Southern Peninsula, and 99 percent in north east India. Generally, the Indian monsoon is classified as normal at 95 to 105 percent of the long-termaverage (LTA). Below normal is defined at 90-95 percent of LTA and drought as less than 90 percent of LTA.

The late start, somewhat erratic beginning and poor distribution of the monsoon rainfall is generally resulting in delayed planting of almost all kharif (monsoon) season crops including cotton. However, it is still too early to make objective and reliable seasonal planting predictions because the window of opportunity for cotton planting extends through July. The mid-July planting progress data and observations will be critical in estimating the 2014 cotton area planted. (For more information, please contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202-720-7339).

Spain Barley: Drought-Related Impacts Reduce Production

USDA estimates barley production in Spain at 7.0 million tons, down 1.2 million or 15 percent from last month, and down 3.1 million or 30 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 2.8 million hectares, practically unchanged from both last month and last year. Yield is estimated at 2.54 tons per hectare (MT/Ha) compared to 2.96 MT/Ha last month and the 2.83 MT/Ha 5-year average.

Spain is typically the EU’s third largest barley producer after France and Germany. Its crop is rainfed and therefore dependent on seasonal rainfall. Significant dryness occurred during April and May, however, with crops receiving only half their normal spring rainfall totals. High temperatures further diminished soil moisture, stressing plants during critical development months, resulting in yield loss.

Improved conditions in many central and east European countries such as Germany, Romania, Hungary and Lithuania offset Spain’s negative influence on barley production in the European Union (EU). Overall estimated production for 2014/15 EU barley remains unchanged from last month at 55.9 million tons, which is 3.7 million tons or 6.3 percent below last year’s harvest. (For more information, please contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

China Corn: Record Crop Forecast in 2014/15

USDA forecasts China’s 2014/15 corn crop at a record 222.0 million tons, up 2 million or 0.9 percent from last month and up 3.5 million or 1.6 percent from last year’s revised output of 218.5 million tons. Area is estimated at 36.8 million hectares, up 0.8 percent from last month and 1.3 percent from last year’s record area of 36.3 million. Revisions to the 2013/14 area and production estimates this month were based on data published in China’s 2014 Statistical Abstract.

Corn area has increased by more than 10 million hectares in the past decade, while planted area for rice and wheat has risen slightly. Most of the growth in corn area took place in Northeast China, where new farmland was developed and soybean and spring wheat acreage was converted to more-profitable corn. Corn area has also increased on the North China Plain, often at the expense of cotton area.

Yield, forecast at 6.03 tons per hectare, is unchanged from last month and essentially equal to last year’s record yield. The spring-sown crop in Northeast China is now in the reproductive stage, while the summer-sown crop on the North China Plain will enter the reproductive stage in August. Weather and soil moisture conditions are currently close to normal, and no major flooding, droughts or pest/disease problems have occurred so far this season. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

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