Australia: Record Rainfall Reduces Wheat Production Forecast
Wheat output for 2000/01 is estimated at 19.5 million tons, down 0.5 million or 3 percent from last month and down 5.5 million or 22 percent from last year's record. Estimated area is revised to 12.0 million hectares. Yield reductions are anticipated in New South Wales because of recent heavy rains and flooding. Record rainfall in parts of northern New South Wales has resulted in grain losses, both in quality and quantity. The area affected by the heavy rains and flooding represents approximately 30 percent of the state's sown area. However, good weather conditions in the southern part of the state should result in above average yields for the region. Victoria and South Australia will both experience the highest wheat production in several years with above average yields. Recent harvest information from Western Australia indicates some areas have performed better than expected and overall state yield may not be as low as initially forecast.
Argentina: Forecast Soybean Area Rises, Sunflower Area Lower
Argentinas 2000/01 soybean production is forecast at a record 23.5 million tons, up 2.8 million tons or 13 percent from last years record, and up 0.5 million tons from last month on higher area. Harvested area is forecast at a new record of 9.7 million hectares, up 1.1 million hectares or 13 percent from last year, and up 200,000 hectares from Novembers estimate.
Sunflowerseed production is forecast at 4.4 million tons, down 1.7 million or 28 percent from last year, and down 4 percent from last month due to lower area. Harvested area is forecast at 2.4 million hectares, down 1.1 million hectares or 31 percent from last year.
Relatively high prices for soybean meal and lower production costs for soybeans have encouraged farmers to shift to soybeans from sunflowers, corn and rice this year. Soybean planting began in November and continues through January, while sunflower planting is from October through December. Plantings of both crops had been delayed somewhat by excessive rains, but current planting progress is similar to last year and to average.
Canada: Wheat Estimate Climbs as Corn Estimate Falls
Canadian wheat production for 2000/01 is forecast at 26.8 million tons, up 1.3 million from last month but virtually unchanged from last year. Area is estimated at 10.9 million hectares. Spring wheat production fell 7 percent to 19.4 million tons, but the durum crop was 5.6 million tons, an increase of 1.3 million tons from the previous year, and second only to the 1998 record of 6.0 million tons. Corn production was severely reduced by a wet and cool growing season Corn production amounted to 6.8 million tons, a 25 percent drop compared to last year. This was the lowest production recorded since 1993 and 15 percent below the five-year average of 8.0 million tons. Wet weather in the spring delayed planting in many areas and continued wet and cool summer weather reduced yields to below the five-year average of 7.45 tons per hectare.
China: Soybean Production Rises on Higher Area and Yields
Chinas soybean production for 2000/01 is estimated at 15.4 million tons, up 0.4 million or 3 percent from last month and up 8 percent from last year. The revision is based on information released by the Chinese government and trade sources which indicate slightly higher yields than initially forecast. Harvested area in 2000/01 increased by 14 percent to an estimated 9.3 million hectares in response to high soymeal demand and low prices for competing crops. However, Chinas soybean crop was adversely affected by unusually dry weather in the Northeast and irregular rainfall in several important soybean producing provinces in the North China Plain. Estimated yield for 2000/01 is 1.66 tons per hectare, below the 5-year average and the lowest yield since 1995.
Brazil: Favorable Weather Boosts Cotton Prospects
Brazils 2000/01 cotton output is estimated at 3.7 million bales, up 9 percent from last month and 19 percent over 1999/2000, as rising domestic demand and subsequent higher prices rejuvenates cotton production. The major cotton producing states include: Mato Grosso (28% of production), Goias (19%), Sao Paulo (14%), Parana (12%), Minas Gerais (8%), and Mato Grosso do Sul (8%). Typically, the cotton crop is planted during September to November, and harvested between February and May. Preliminary reports indicate significant increases in the planted area in the key states of Mato Grosso (+30%), Parana (+20%), Goias (+14%), and Mato Grosso do Sul (+10%), while decreases are being reported for Minas Gerais (-17%) and Sao Paulo (-3%). Widespread rains during September to November generally benefited cotton planting operations. In addition, heavier application rates of fertilizers and herbicides are reportedly being used this year.
Brazil: 2000/01 Record Corn Crop Forecast
Brazils 2000/01 total corn production is estimated at a record 37.0 million tons, up about 3 percent from last month and 17 percent over last year. Harvested area is estimated at 13.5 million hectares, up nearly 4 percent from last month and 8 percent over last year. High domestic corn prices coupled with higher application rates of farm inputs and favorable weather conditions to date provide the optimism for a record corn crop.
Two crops of corn are cultivated, the main crop (Planted: October- December, Harvested: February-June), and the second-crop known as the Safrinha (Planted: January-February, Harvested: June-September). The main crop accounts for 80-85 percent of total corn production and the Safrinha accounts for the rest. The key producing states include: Parana (22%), Rio Grande do Sul (14%), Minas Gerais (14%), Santa Catarina (11%), Sao Paulo (10%), Goias (10%), Mato Grosso do Sul (3%), and Mato Grosso (3%). Important Safrinha producing states of Parana (37%), Sao Paulo (20%), Mato Grosso (15%), Mato Grosso do Sul (13%), and Goias (12%). Preliminary reports suggest significant area increase for the main crop in the key states of Parana (+17%), Rio Grande do Sul (+ 8%), Minas Gerais (9%), Santa Catarina (5%), Sao Paulo (17%), and Goias (+28%). Cumulative rainfall conditions during the September to November period have generally been very favorable for the crop.
India: 2000/01 Cotton Production Forecast Decreased
Cotton production for 2000/01 is estimated at 11.9 million bales, down 0.4 million or 3 percent from last month and down 0.4 million or 3 percent from last year. Estimated area is revised from 8.9 to 8.4 million hectares, down 0.5 million or 6 percent and down 0.3 million or 3 percent from last year. The cotton estimate has been reduced due to continued adverse weather conditions in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, where high temperatures and low soil moisture reserves have limited the number of pickings. The harvest in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan was quite favorable, with the harvest being completed on schedule under optimum weather conditions. Harvest operations are underway in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Market arrivals through November 25 are estimated at 3.21 million bales, compared with 2.66 million for the same period last year.
Zimbabwe: Lower Corn Output Forecast
Zimbabwe corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 1.0 million tons, down 17 percent from last month and 41 percent from last year due to lower estimated area. Based on information from farm organizations and other sources, planted area was reduced sharply this month to 950,000 hectares, down 34 percent from last year and the lowest since 1991. Area reductions are expected in both the commercial and the communal farming sectors for many reasons, among them the Governments disruptive land redistribution program, economic instability, agricultural input shortages, and unfavorably low procurement prices. Yields are also expected to be affected by the problems in Zimbabwes agricultural system. Estimated yield for the 2000/01 crop is 1.05 tons per hectare, almost 17 percent below the 5-year average. Planting is currently underway and should be concluded by the end of December. The rainy season started slowly this year, but cumulative rainfall since November 1 has been close to normal and there is adequate moisture for planting and germination in the main crop areas. Reservoir levels are high following heavy rainfall last year, but electricity shortages will limit the use of irrigation water.
Romania: Corn Production Reduced Further
The 2000/01 corn harvest in Romania is estimated at 4.0 million tons, down 0.5 million, or 11 percent from last month, and down 62 percent from last years bumper crop. Area is estimated at 2.7 million hectares, down 0.3 million from last year. This years corn harvest compares dismally to Romanias five-year average of 10.1 million tons and 3.1 million hectares. The 2000/01 season saw the most severe drought of the last fifty years and it was accompanied by record heat. Detrimental weather was most apparent on crops in the southern and eastern regions, which produced the lowest yields, while the central, northern, and western areas tended to have marginally higher yields.
Former Yugoslavia: Corn Production Lowered
Total 2000/01 corn production in the former Yugoslavia is estimated at 5.5 million tons, down 0.5 million or 8 percent from last month and 42 percent from last seasons large crop. Area is estimated at 1.8 million hectares, down 14 percent from last year. Field surveys in the grain basket region of Vojvodina in October revealed abandoned cornfields left unharvested. The 2000/01 problematic season included intense drought, excessive heat, expensive and limited fuel supplies which have all contributed to the sharp drop in production. The largest corn producers within the former Yugoslavia are Serbia/ Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia/Herzegovina. Serbia/Montenegros 2000/01 corn production is about 3.2 million tons (6.3 million in 1999), while Croatias production is estimated at 1.2 million tons (2.1 million in 1999). Bosnia/Herzegovinas 2000/01 production should also be significantly reduced to about 0.7 million tons from last years 1.0 million tons.
Egypt: Rice Production Increased Due to Higher Yields
Rice production in Egypt for 2000/01 is estimated at 3.9 million tons milled basis, up 11 percent from last month, and 3 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 650 thousand hectares, up 3 percent from last month virtually unchanged from last year. Despite the governments ongoing effort to discourage rice farming with its inherent high demand on the countrys limited water resources, the profit margin continues to entice farmers to plant it over cotton or corn. The large increases in production recently, however, are largely a consequence of the use of higher yielding varieties. About 87 percent of 2000/01 rice area was planted with high yielding varieties. With Egypts favorable climate and reliable irrigation scheme, its rice continues to be one of the highest yielding in the world. 2000/01 rice area is well above the governments targeted area. With this additional rice, prices have fallen, and farmers are having trouble marketing their crop.
India: Rapeseed Production Forecast Down on Prices and Crop Condition
India 2000/01 rapeseed output is estimated at 4.4 million tons, down 0.9 million or 17 percent from last month and down 1.1 million or 20 percent from last year. Estimated area is revised from 6.2 to 5.5 million hectares, down 0.7 million or 11 percent from last month and 0.9 million tons or 14 percent from last year. There has been a shift to wheat planting in irrigated areas as a result of relatively better expected prices. Additionally, drought in western India will result in reduced plantings of rapeseed in dryland areas and water availability problems for irrigated fields. The sown area in Rajasthan will be lower than last season where area has been shifted to low-rainfall tolerant crops including millet and sorghum. Planting of rapeseed will also be reduced in the drought stricken Saurashtra region of Gujarat. The rapeseed producing states of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are also experiencing low soil moisture levels and water availability problems.
China: Record Peanut Crop in 2000/01
Chinas peanut production for 2000/01 is estimated at a record 13.0 million tons, up 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and up 3 percent from last year. Area is estimated at a record 4.5 million hectares, and yield is revised slightly upward this month to 2.89 tons per hectare, close to the 5-year average. The revision is based on information from the Ministry of Agriculture, which recently reported that Chinas oilseed crop (peanuts, rapeseed, sesame, and minor oilseeds) reached 28.2 million tons in 2000, up 1.2 million or 8 percent from last year. Historically, peanuts comprise 45 to 50 percent of Chinas total oilseed crop. The weather during the 2000/01 growing season was mixed. The crop on the North China Plain was affected by drought in May and June, but favorable rainfall from July onward boosted yield prospects. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall in central and southern China this summer may have caused some harvesting and quality problems.
Ukraine: Good Harvest Weather Boosts Sunflowerseed Output
Ukraine sunflowerseed production for 2000/01 is estimated at 3.7 million tons, up 0.5 million or 16 percent from last month and up 1.0 million or 36 percent from last year. Persistent dryness during October and the first half of November enabled farmers to avoid weather-related harvest delays. Although the estimated yield of 1.32 tons per hectare is the highest since 1995, sunflowerseed yield continues to suffer from below-optimal application of fertilizer and plant-protection chemicals, and yield remains significantly lower than the levels achieved in the late 1980's and early 1990's, when intensive technology was at its peak.
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