ARGENTINA: WHEAT PRODUCTION RAISED BY FAVORABLE HARVEST WEATHER
Argentinas wheat production for 1999/2000 is raised to 14.5 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and up 21 percent from the revised 1998/99 output. As of November 26, wheat harvest was 13 percent complete and is progressing without delays due to dry weather. Harvest activity is well underway in Santa Fe and Cordoba provinces, and is beginning in Buenos Aires. The yields in northern Santa Fe are reportedly below expectations due to the drought that struck that region, while the situation in Buenos Aires province for those areas that have already been harvested is better. The effect of recent frosts in southern Buenos Aires caused localized damage and is expected to have a minimal impact on the total crop size. Within the next few weeks, the harvest will move into more important wheat growing areas and the volume arriving at country stations and export ports will increase rapidly. Exports silos are being cleaned out to prepare for the influx of product, and at least in the short term, infrastructure should not be stressed.
BRAZIL: CORN PRODUCTION ESTIMATE LOWERED DUE TO DRYNESS IN SOUTH
Brazils 1999/200 total corn production is estimated at 33.0 million tons, down by 1.0 million from last month, but 3 percent above last year. Harvested area is estimated at 12.4 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month, but 1 percent above last year. Continued dryness in the south plus higher costs of fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs contributed to the reduction this month.
Rainfall during November has been significantly deficient in southern Brazil (Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso do Sul), and adequate-to-above average in Minas Gerais, Goias and Mato Grosso. Some isolated scattered showers over southern Brazil during the first week of December brought some reprieve, but more is needed to improve yield prospects. Corn planting is over 75 percent complete in the main producing center-south region. Since planting corn into December presents risks to farmers, producers are currently making the decision whether to switch to soybeans or wait and plant second-season corn in January or February.
SOUTH AFRICA: CORN PLANTING BEGINS
South Africas 1999/2000 corn production is estimated at 8.5 million tons, unchanged from last month, but up 1.4 million or 20 percent from last year. Area is forecast to rebound after a two-year decline and reach an estimated 3.2 million hectares. The estimated yield of 2.66 tons per hectare is slightly above the 5-year average.
In November, South Africas National Crop Estimates Committee (NCEC) lowered its preliminary corn area estimate from 3.3 million hectares to 3.1 million. A late start to the rainy season delayed planting in some areas by 4 weeks, and localized dryness has affected germination. Planting is complete in the eastern Maize Triangle and will continue through December in the west, where more rain is needed in order to reach planting intentions. The first official planted area estimate by NCEC will be published in January, and the first official production estimate will be released in February.
Moderate showers (10-25 mm or more) swept through the eastern half of the corn belt in late November, easing dry conditions and benefitting emerging summer crops in the northern and eastern Maize Triangle. However, soil moisture levels remain lower than normal, particularly in Free State. Scattered showers in early December brought welcome relief to western crop areas. Temperatures and rainfall during February and March will be critical in determining the yield of the 1999/2000 corn crop.
RUSSIA: GRAIN HARVEST COMPLETE, WHEAT LOWERED
Wheat production is estimated at 30.5 million tons, down 1.5 million from last month, but up 3.6 million from last year. Barley production is estimated at 12.0 million tons, down 0.5 million from last month but up 2.2 million from last year. According to preliminary harvest results released by the State Statistical Agency and other government agencies, total grain production will reach approximately 54.8 million tons, against 47.9 million last year. Grain quality, however, is down: only 63 percent of the wheat harvest met food-quality standards, compared to 76 percent last year.
CANADA: BUMPER CROPS, DESPITE LATE PLANTING AND HARVEST
Canadas 1999/2000 wheat production is estimated at 26.9 million tons, up 0.9 million from last month and up 12 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at a record 2.59 tons per hectare, surpassing the previous 1996/97 record of 2.43 tons. Estimated harvested area rose 0.1 million hectares to 10.4 million hectares, but is down 4 percent from last year. Canadas barley production is estimated at 13.2 million tons, up 0.2 million tons from last month and 0.5 million tons from last year. Area is unchanged from last month at 4.1 million hectares, down 4 percent from last year. Canadas corn production is estimated at a record 9.1 million tons, up 0.6 million tons from last month and up 2 percent from last year. Canadas rapeseed production is estimated at a record 8.8 million tons, up 0.2 million from last month and up 16 percent from last year. Crop yield is forecast at a record 1.58 tons per hectare, up 3 percent from last month. Area is forecast to remain at 5.6 million hectares, the same as last month and up 3 percent from last year. These changes were made following the December Statistics Canada report.
Favorable summer weather aided crop development and offset the delay caused by late planting. Area projections declined in June because excessive moisture caused substantial planting delays: southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba were the areas that had the most delays. Weather was cool and wet throughout the early summer, then changed to nearly ideal warmth and dryness in August. Crops in many areas of the prairies were two to four weeks behind normal development, causing concern that an early freeze would damage overall production. However, harvesting continued very late this season due to the planting delays, and producers in the prairies benefitted from the fact that hard freezes held off until the average first date in mid-September or thereafter. Areas in Saskatchewan and Manitoba that suffered the most delays received the latest hard freeze, which did not occur there until nearly October.
PHILIPPINES: RICE AND CORN PRODUCTION RISE
Estimated milled rice production in the Philippines for 1999/2000 rose 0.3 million tons this month to 7.7 million tons, up 15 percent from last year. Area is unchanged from last month at 4.0 million hectares. Both 1997/98 and 1998/99 were unusually bad years for Philippine rice production as producers planted much lower area because of bad weather and the Asian economic crisis. Yields were also down in those years because of a drop in the high-yielding variety seeds. Estimated corn production for 1999/2000 rose 0.2 million tons this month to 4.5 million tons, but it is still down 8 percent from last year. Area is unchanged from last month at 2.7 million hectares. Favorable weather increased yields for the third quarter, leading to higher production.
BULGARIA: CORN PRODUCTION RAISED
Bulgarian corn production for 1999/2000 is estimated at 1.6 million tons, an increase of 0.5 million from last month, and 33 percent over last year. This would be the best corn harvest since 1992.
Harvested area is estimated at 0.4 million hectares, up 4 percent from last month and at last years level. Weather during the crop season was nearly ideal for corn, significantly assisting development and edging up yield. The season brought frequent rains during the critical growing months and ended with warm, dry weather at harvest during September and October. In addition to the beneficial weather, farmers typically planted higher quality seeds which provide better yields. Another positive factor at work was many recent purchases of machinery and equipment that reduced harvest losses.
PAKISTAN: WHEAT REVISED LOWER
Pakistan wheat production for 1999/2000 is estimated at 17.9 million tons, down 0.4 million from last month and down 4 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 8.2 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month. Pakistans Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has revised wheat production figures based on latest arrival data. Yields are lower this season due to economic sanctions that constrained Pakistans ability to import fertilizers. Over 80 percent of the wheat is irrigated.
INDIA: RICE PRODUCTION REVISED LOWER
Indias rice production is forecast at 84.5 million tons (milled basis), down 1.0 million tons from last month, and slightly below last seasons record level. The 1999/2000 rice area is now estimated at 44.5 million hectares, down 0.3 million hectares from last month and matching the 1998/99 crop area. Cyclone 05B storm tracked inland into eastern Orrisa during late October with high winds, heavy rains, and storm surges causing damage to the maturing kharif rice crop. Rice in the affected area will be limited by poor soil conditions due to the inundation of fields with salt water and the lack of irrigation facilities. In addition, below-normal precipitation in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu hindered the rabi rice planting; however, recent rainfall has eased the dryness. Kharif (monsoon season) rice crop losses are expected to be partly offset by a higher rabi(winter) crop.
NORTH KOREA: GRAIN SITUATION IMPROVED OVER LAST YEAR
The 1999/2000 total grain production (milled rice, corn and wheat) for North Korea is estimated 3.5 million tons, up slightly from 1998/99. Hot and dry weather in early summer stressed non-irrigated corn, barley, and other miscellaneous grains, but conditions were more favorable than in 1997, the last time the country was hit by a serious drought. Heavy rainfall in August reduced rice quality, and the southwest coast suffered minor flood losses from a late-season typhoon. Harvest weather was favorably dry.
Milled rice production is estimated at 1.6 million tons, up 0.1 million from last month and 0.2 million from last year due to higher yield. Area was unchanged at 0.6 million hectares, and yield reached an estimated 3.86 tons per hectare, the highest since 1990/91. An increase in the area planted to improved variety rice, timely rainfall, a larger supply of fertilizer, and a lack of major pest or disease problems contributed to the improved yield this season.
Corn production is revised downward this month by 0.1 million tons to 1.6 million in response to lower estimated area and yield. Area is estimated at 575,000 hectares, down 50,000 from last year, as farmers were encouraged to take marginal land out of production and shift from corn to other crops, such as potatoes. The estimated yield of 2.78 tons per hectare is lower than last year due to stressful conditions in June and July, but still higher than the drought-reduced crop of 1997/98.
Wheat/barley production is estimated at 250,000 tons, more than twice the size of last years crop, due to a large increase in planted area and higher yield. The North Korean government and international aid agencies have promoted the expansion of double-cropped winter wheat and barley as a way to increase total grain output. Estimated winter wheat yield is higher than normal due to favorable spring weather.
With the active
participation of international aid agencies, the North Korea
government is encouraging farmers to plant a greater variety of
crops, increase the use of higher-yielding seeds, expand
double-cropping and crop rotation, and adopt a more rational use
of arable land. The agricultural system in North Korea is slowly
beginning to show signs of recovery from a series of damaging
floods and droughts in the 1990's, but grain deficits will remain
for the near term.
SOUTH AMERICA: DRY CONDITIONS PUT OILSEEDS AT RISK
South America oilseed production is lowered this month by 320,000 metric tons to 62.1 million tons; however, further drops in production may occur if regional dryness persists. Worst hit have been, northern Argentina, most of Paraguay, southeastern Bolivia, and western regions of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil. On the other hand, planting conditions in some important producing regions, for example Buenos Aires province in Argentina and the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, have been excellent in the last few weeks.
Though past its optimum, the planting season in Paraguay remains open, and rainfall in the next weeks will allow crops to establish before the more critical part of the growing season in February and March. Paraguay soybean output is currently estimated at 3.0 million tons, unchanged from last season. Bolivian soybean production is estimated 100,000 tons lower this month at 950,000 tons. Yield is estimated at 1.9 tons per hectare, better than the 1.6 tons of last years drought-devastated crop, but below the 5-year average. The cottonseed region in northern Argentina has been dry, and the cottonseed-harvested-area estimate is lowered this month by 35 percent to 325,000 hectares, with production dropping from 350,000 to 230,000 tons. The outlook for soybeans in western Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul is much the same as it is in Paraguay. Rain is needed to allow for planting and establishment of the crop. The soybean production estimate for Brazil is unchanged this month at 31.0 million tons.
ARGENTINA: COTTON PRODUCTION SLASHED DUE TO DRY CONDITIONS
The 199/2000 cotton production estimate for Argentina is lowered this month to 0.55 million bales, down 0.35 million bales or 39 percent from last month and last season. Harvested area is estimated at 325,000 hectares, down 175,000 hectares or 35 percent from last month and or 50 percent from last season. Dry conditions have persisted in the cotton-growing region during the previous three months, the normal planting period for cotton. Soil moisture continues to remain low at the surface and subsurface causing delays in planting and affecting development of the crop planted earlier in the season. Recent rains have been light and had little impact on this long-tern dryness. Planting is normally 70 to 80 percent complete by this time. However, if moisture conditions do not improve, there may be little, if any, additional planting in the coming weeks. As the planting period ends, farmers may elect to plant shorter-season, lower-yielding varieties of cotton or decide to plant soybeans instead.[images/footer.html]