2001/02 PRODUCTION BRIEFS
China: Higher Corn Production Expected
Chinas 2001/02 corn production is forecast to reach 125.0 million tons, up 20.0 million or 19 percent from last years drought-reduced crop. Assuming normal weather during the growing season, yields are projected to be 5.1 MT/Ha, higher than the 5-year average but lower than the record of 5.27 MT/Ha set in1998/99. Area is estimated at 24.5 million hectares, up 2 percent from a year ago. Despite predictions from the Chinese government that corn area would drop slightly in 2001/02, high domestic prices for corn relative to other crops are anticipated to boost corn area above 2000/01 levels. Planting conditions for corn have been less than ideal on the North China Plain and southern Manchuria, where unusually dry, warm and windy weather may have delayed early corn sowing and germination. Recent rainfall has improved conditions in these areas. Spring weather in Heilongjiang and most of central and southern China has been generally favorable for corn planting and development, with adequate rainfall and seasonable temperatures.
Russia: Wheat and Coarse Grains Projected to Increase
Production of wheat and coarse grains for 2001/02 is projected to increase from last year, due chiefly to increased area. Wheat output is estimated at 37.0 million tons (up from 34.5 million last year), barley at 14.5 (14.1) million, rye at 5.2 (5.5) million, oats at 5.5 (6.0) million, millet at 1.0 (1.1) million, and corn at 1.5 (1.6) million. Estimated total-grain area increased by 2.1 million hectares to 47.6 million (including roughly 3.0 million hectares of pulses and miscellaneous grains). Estimated wheat area increased from 23.2 to 24.3 million hectares, and estimated barley area from 9.2 to 10.5 million. Winter grains benefitted from generally favorable weather during the winter and spring, except for persistent dryness in parts of the North Caucasus. Spring planting is underway with officials forecasting a slight increase over last years area. The U.S. Agricultural Minister-Counselor in Moscow reports marginal improvements in the availability of most agricultural inputs compared to recent years, but warns that inadequate machinery, low-quality seed, and a lack of credit will hamper significant gains in grain output.
European Union: Wet Weather Drops Wheat and Barley Production
Wheat and barley production in the European Union in 2001/02 is forecast at 147.7 million tons (97.5 million of wheat and 50.2 million of barley), down 8.8 million from the previous year (7.5 million for wheat and 1.3 million for barley). Harvested area is forecast at 27.7 million hectares, down 1.1 million (1.0 million for wheat and 0.1 million for barley) from the 2000/01 level. The production and area decline is largely a result of excessive rainfall that prevented autumn planting in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Winter crops in the rest of the EU faired relatively well. However, there were some spring planting delays for spring wheat and barley, but these crops are rather small, and their influence on total output is minimal.
China: Wheat Production Higher
Chinas 2001/02 wheat crop is estimated at 104.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from 2000/01 due to higher forecast yields. Estimated area for 2001/02 dropped 4 percent to 26.0 million hectares, continuing a 4-year downward trend. Assuming normal weather, Chinas 2001/02 wheat yield is expected to reach 4.0 MT/Ha, up 6 percent from last years drought-reduced crop. The area reduction is attributed mainly to low prices and government policies that discouraged the planting of low-quality winter wheat in southern provinces and spring wheat in the north. Winter rapeseed has replaced winter wheat in many parts of central China, while spring wheat area in the Northeast is either being abandoned or replaced by more profitable crops. Timely rainfall in late April boosted crop prospects, but more rain is needed in May to ensure good yields. In 2000/01, drought in May had a serious negative impact on yields.
World: Oilseed Production to Rise in the United States and Foreign Countries
World total oilseed production for 2001/02 is forecast at 319 million tons, up about 11 million or 4 percent from 2000/01. The U.S. crop is expected to account for much of the change as output here is forecast up 7.0 million tons year-to-year, to 92.2 million. Meanwhile, total foreign output is forecast up 4.3 million tons, to 226.8 million. A large supply of palm oil continues to depress vegetable oil prices on the world market, but strong demand for protein feeds continues to support demand for protein rich oilseeds.
Ukraine: Higher Wheat Area and Yield Boost Grain Production
Wheat production for 2001/02 is forecast at 16.0 million tons, up from 10.2 million in 2000/01, and area is projected at 7.0 million hectares, the highest level in ten years. Barley production is forecast at 6.0 million tons, down from 6.9 million last year because of a drop in sown area from 3.7 to a projected 3.2 million hectares. Corn production is forecast to be 2.8 million tons, down from 3.8 million in 2000/01, with projected area down 0.3 million hectares to 1.0 million. According to the U.S. agricultural attache in Kiev, grain yield is forecast to increase from last year due to generally favorable weather and a slight increase in fertilizer and pesticide use. Fertilizer supplies remain tight, however, with domestic producers preferring to export their products rather than sell to farmers already in debt whose ability to pay is limited.
Kazakstan: Level Prices and Costly Inputs Hold Output Level
Wheat and barley production for 2001/02 is forecast at 9.0 and 1.7 million tons respectively, roughly the same as last years output. Citing uncertainty over the price and availability of fuel and continuing shortages of machinery and spare parts, the U.S. agricultural attache in Almaty forecasts that wheat area will drop from 10.5 to 10.0 million hectares. Wheat yield is projected at 0.9 tons per hectare, slightly above average. Although March and April were unusually dry in Kazakstans main grain producing region, yield hinges largely on June and July precipitation.
India: Wheat Production Declines with Area
Indias wheat output for 2001/02 is forecast at 68.0 million tons, down 7.8 million or 10 percent from last seasons record crop of 75.8 million. Area is estimated at 25.0 million hectares, down 2.4 million, or 9 percent from last season. The production decline is largely a result of reduced plantings in the western drought-affected states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and in Madhya Pradesh. Low soil moisture levels and inadequate irrigation water resulted in a sown area decline. These losses were partially offset by higher production in eastern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In the major producing zone of Haryana and Punjab, the growing season endured unfavorably high temperatures briefly during early March and a week of rainy conditions at harvest in mid-to-late April. However, these events are estimated to have had only a minor impact on an otherwise favorable season in this intensely irrigated region of India.
2000/01 PRODUCTION BRIEFS
Brazil: Soybean Production Surges to Higher Record
Brazils soybean production is forecast at a record 36.5 million tons, up 1.0 million tons or 3 percent from last month and 7 percent above last years record crop. Production estimates from various sources have been increasing as harvest results come in and area estimates are revised higher. Harvested area increased 100,000 hectares to 13.7 million, and yields are estimated at a record 2.66 tons per hectare. The soybean harvest has essentially been completed in the states of Mato Grosso, Parana, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul. Heavy rains and saturated soil conditions have hampered harvesting operations (85 percent harvested) in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.
China: Peanut Crop Higher Than Expected
The estimate for Chinas 2000/01 peanut crop was increased this month to a record 13.5 million tons, up 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and up 7 percent from last year due to higher estimated yield. The revision is based on official Chinese government statistics which indicate that oilseed production in 2000/01 was significantly higher than previously announced. Production was especially good in Shandong Province, which accounts for about 25 percent of Chinas total peanut crop. Estimated area reached a record 4.5 million hectares in 2000/01 and, according to the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Beijing, is expected to increase again in 2001/02. The domestic demand for peanuts is steady and prices are relatively good compared to alternative crops.
India: Rapeseed Production Forecast Decreased
Output or rapeseed in India in 2000/01 is estimated at 3.7 million tons, down 0.5 million or 12 percent from last month and down 1.4 million or 28 percent from last year. Estimated area is revised from 5.1 to 5.0 million hectares, down 0.1 million or 2 percent from last month and 0.6 million or 11 percent from last year. Farmers in the western growing states faced unfavorably dry planting conditions after the relatively weak June to September 2000 monsoon. Coupled with very low winter rainfall amounts, this resulted in a reduced sown area and lower yields. The mustard-rapeseed producing states which are affected are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and the major producing state of Rajasthan. Rajasthani farmers have shifted to drought tolerant crops including millet and sorghum. There has also been a shift to wheat planting in areas of assured irrigation, resulting from relatively better price expectations.
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