Argentina: Corn Area Forecast Down Due to More Favorable Soybean Prices
2000/01 corn production is estimated at 15.0 million tons, down 0.5 million tons or 3 percent from last month and down 1.7 million tons or 10 percent from last years crop. With the soybean-corn price ratio of recent months favoring soybeans, corn area declined in response. Harvested area is estimated at 2.8 million hectares, down 0.1 million hectares from last month and down 0.3 million hectares or 10 percent from last year. Corn is 90 percent planted, similar to last years pace. There had been some delays in planting in October (owing to insufficient soil moisture), but rapid progress in December has brought this years planting pace to normal levels. Rainfall was below normal for August and September in Cordoba, La Pampa and western Buenos Aires, but moderate to heavy rains in October and November boosted soil moisture in most dry areas. Recent dryness in La Pampa and western Buenos Aires had led to decreased surface soil moisture, but subsoil moisture has remained adequate.
Malaysia: Higher Area and Favorable Weather Boost Palm Oil Output
Malaysia palm oil production is estimated higher this month by 0.3 million tons after being raised in December, also by 0.3 million. This brings forecast output to 11.7 million tons for 2000/01 (Oct. - Sept.), up from 10.5 million last year. The increase is attributed to more area, particularly from plantings in East Malaysia three years ago which are coming into production, and to generally favorable rainfall. Average rainfall levels in Malaysia have been at or above normal for nine consecutive quarters which is very beneficial for the perennial tree crop. On the other hand, excessive levels of rainfall which occurred in September, October, and November 2000 in some growing areas, especially in eastern peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, may lead to disappointing production levels in May, June, and July 2001, because of reduced pollination.
China: Rice Area and Production Drops in 2000/01
Chinas rice production for 2000/01 is estimated at 133.0 million tons (190.0 million rough basis), down 3.5 million or 3 percent from last month and 4 percent from last year. Estimated area of 30.0 million hectares is 1 percent from last month, down 4 percent from last year, and the lowest area since 1968. Rice area has been declining in recent years in response to plentiful supplies, poor demand for low quality rice varieties, and removal of protection prices for low quality early rice. The largest reductions have been to the early and late rice crops in the Yangtze River Basin and southern China. Area and production of single crop rice, grown in northern China, Sichuan, western China, and parts of central China, is estimated to be down slightly from last year.
Dryness caused some planting delays and germination problems in northern China, and excessive rainfall and typhoons led to local flooding in central and southern China, but in general the weather was favorable for rice this year. Estimated yield in 2000/01 is 6.33 tons per hectare, nearly equal to the record yield of 6.37 tons per hectare from 1998/99.
Argentina: Weak Demand for Sunflowerseed Reduces Area
Argentinas 2000/01 sunflowerseed production is estimated at 4.0 million tons, down 0.4 million tons or 9 percent from last month and down 2.1 million tons or 34 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 2.2 million hectares, down 1.3 million hectares or 37 percent from last season, and the lowest in seven years. A weak oil market and reduced demand for sunflowerseed products have reduced incentives to produce this crop. Area that was planted to sunflowers last year is expected to have shifted to soybeans in central Argentina; to cotton in northern Argentina, and some area to wheat in southern Argentina. Planting began in the northern end of the country at the end of August, and is approximately 98 percent complete. There had been some planting delays because of insufficient soil moisture in the western and northern growing areas, but rapid planting progress in December has brought this years pace to normal levels. Recent dryness in La Pampa and western Buenos Aires led to decreased surface soil moisture, but subsoil moisture has remained adequate.
China: Cotton Area and Yield Raised
Chinas 2000/01 cotton output is estimated at 20.0 million bales (4.35 million tons), up 11 percent from last month and 14 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 4.0 million hectares, up 7 percent from last years record-low area. Before the crop season started, planted area was expected to decline for a second consecutive year in response to government efforts to reduce surplus cotton stocks. However, rising prices in the spring and summer encouraged farmers to switch from grain to cotton, and planted area expanded instead. Cotton area in Shandong province, the second-largest cotton producer, reportedly rose by about 50 percent in 2000/01. Cotton area also increased in several other provinces this year.
A record yield of 1089 Kg/Ha is forecast for the 2000/01 crop, due in part to the increasing use of improved cotton varieties. Growing conditions were mixed. A serious drought stressed spring-sown cotton and delayed summer cotton planting on the North China Plain, but heavy rain in July improved growing conditions. Central China had adequate moisture for planting and mostly favorable weather during the summer for crop development. Harvest conditions on the North China Plain were fair, but heavy autumn rains may have affected yield and crop quality in parts of Henan and central China. Good weather was reported in the western province of Xinjiang, which accounts for about one-third of Chinas cotton crop.
Ukraine: Bumper Corn Harvest Follows Disastrous Wheat Crop
Ukraine wheat production for 2000/01 is estimated at 10.2 million tons, down 0.8 million or 7 percent from last month and down 3.3 million or 24 percent from last year. Total coarse grain production is estimated at 13.0 million tons, up 0.8 million or 7 percent from last month and up 3.1 million or 31 percent from last year. The increase in coarse grain production was driven by higher output of barley (up 0.4 million tons or 6 percent from last month and up 0.5 million or 8 percent from last year) and corn (up 0.3 million or 9 percent from last month and up 2.1 million or 124 percent from last year). The revisions are based on preliminary harvest data released by the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine. Wheat output suffered from a combination of chronic input shortages and persistently wet harvest weather, and production was only two-thirds of the average of the past five years. Barley production benefitted from generally favorable weather and output was about average. Farmers gathered a bumper corn crop due in part to excellent harvest weather.
Russia: State Statistical Committee Preliminary Data Lowers Wheat Crop
Russia wheat production for 2000/01 is estimated at 34.4 million tons, down 2.1 million or 6 percent from last month but up 3.4 million or 11 percent from last year. Total coarse grain production is estimated at 28.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 8 percent from last month and up 6.2 million or 28 percent from last year. Among coarse grains, barley production is estimated at 14.0 million tons (up 3.4 million from last year), rye at 5.4 million (up 0.6 million), oats at 6.0 million (up 1.6 million), millet at 1.1 million (up 0.2 million), and corn at 1.5 million (up 0.4 million). The revisions are based on preliminary harvest data released by the State Statistical Committee of Russia. After a cool, wet early spring marked by significant planting delays, weather was generally favorable for crops throughout the remainder of the growing season. Total grain yield is estimated at 1.43 tons per hectares, up 21 percent from last year and 15 percent above the average of the past five years.
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