2001/02 PRODUCTION BRIEFS
Argentina: Corn Production Prospects Curtailed
Argentine corn production in 2001/02 is forecast at 11.5 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month or 8 percent and down 26 percent from last season. Area is forecast at 2.15 million hectares, down 0.15 million from last month and down 22 percent from last season. Yield is forecast slightly below average at 5.35 tons/hectare. Lower yields are expected due to the delayed corn planting in key corn-growing areas and dryness in Rio Cuarto. Argentina has had a strong increase in yields over the last ten years, with a ten-year trend yield of 5.87 tons/hectare. This is the first year since 1996/97 that yields are estimated below trend and below average.
There are significant planting delays in northern Buenos Aires province, amounting to 10 percent of national corn planted area. This area typically has above-average yields. In October, more than 12 inches (300 mm) of rain fell on central Argentinas main growing area, resulting in localized flooding and saturated soils. In November, the rains continued with some open days for fieldwork to progress. The heavy rains delayed planting and in Pehuajo delegacion prevented planting. In western Cordoba, the Rio Cuarto delegacion has been too dry, preventing planting of the remaining area. Recent rains in Cordoba province have alleviated the topsoil dryness but it is too late to plant corn. Rio Cuarto delegacion accounts for 18 percent of the national corn planted area.
Argentina: Wheat Production Falls, Exports Halted Amid Currency Woes
Argentine wheat production in 2001/02 is estimated at 16.5 million tons, down 0.5 million or 3 percent from last month, but unchanged from last season. Harvested area estimate is unchanged from last month, but up 5 percent from last season. Wheat yields are forecast below average at 2.46 tons per hectare. The decline in wheat yields from last month is based on preliminary reports from northern Buenos Aires province. Approximately 15 percent of the nations wheat area was affected by heavy rainfall in the middle of the growing season. This area is northwestern Buenos Aires, southern Santa Fe, southern Cordoba, and northeastern La Pampa provinces. Wheat harvest is 74 percent complete as of January 4, 2002, slightly behind last years pace.
Currency devaluations will encourage Argentine farmers to plant more area, since a devaluation improves the competitiveness of their crops on the world market. This may result in increased planted area for the 2002/03 crop. The USDA will publish the first estimate of the 2002/03 grain plantings in May 2002. Currently, the costs of production favor wheat, soybeans and sunflowers relative to corn.
Russia: Harvest Data Indicate Bumper Wheat Crop
Russian wheat production for 2001/02 is estimated at 47.0 million tons, up 1.5 million or 3 percent from last month and up 12.6 million or 36 percent from last year. Wheat yield is estimated at 1.97 tons per hectare, the second highest on record. The revision is based on preliminary data from the State Statistical Committee. Barley production is estimated at 19.5 million tons, unchanged from last month and up 5.4 million or 38 percent from last year. Rye production is estimated at 7.0 million tons, unchanged from last month, but up 1.6 million or 28 percent from last year. Oat production is estimated at 7.0 million, unchanged from last month, but up 1.0 million or 17 percent from last year. Corn production is estimated at 0.8 million tons, unchanged from last month but down 0.8 million or 48 percent from last year. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Russian farms harvested over 91 million tons of grain this year (bunker weight, prior to cleaning and drying), and total net output is estimated at roughly 85 million. The 2001/02 grain crop benefited from generally favorable weather in almost all growing regions.
Pakistan: Water Shortage Reduces Rice Crop More Than Expected
The Pakistan 2001/02 rice crop is forecast at 3.74 million tons, down 0.36 million or 9 percent from last month and down 0.96 million or 20 percent from last year. The area forecast is unchanged at 2.0 million hectares. In its second estimate, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock in Islamabad lowered its figure for Pakistan's MY 2001/02 rice crop output. Winter snowfall was lower than normal the last couple of years, and the shortage of irrigation reserves induced farmers to plant less of high yielding rice varieties.
Brazil: Record Soybean Acreage Forecast
Brazils 2001/02 soybean crop is currently estimated at a record 42.5 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 3.7 million or 10 percent from last years bumper harvest. Production is estimated higher as a result of an upward revision in forecast crop area and excellent yield prospects over much of the growing region. As the planting season came to a close in December, Government and oilseed industry planting surveys revealed that Brazilian farmers heeded strong market signals favoring soybean cultivation, and sowed a record national area. Corn and cotton crops suffered declines in sown area, as land was diverted for more lucrative soybean production. Planting surveys indicate that cotton and main season corn area declined roughly 14 and 11 percent respectively. USDA currently forecasts 2001/02 soybean area at a record 15.65 million hectares, up 0.15 million from last month and up 1.68 million or 12 percent from last year.
Pakistan: Cotton Estimate Down on Reduced Arrivals
The 2001/02 cotton crop is estimated at 7.6 million bales, down 0.4 million or 5 percent from last month and down 0.6 million or 7 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 3.13 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 0.2 million hectares or 8 percent from last year. Pakistan cotton production will be reduced this season due to pest attacks. Pressure from heliothis and army bollworms in central and eastern Punjab between mid-September and mid-October will result in yield declines. Arrival data indicates a lower crop size than previously estimated.
January 1, 2002 arrivals in the three past seasons consistently account for about 84 percent of the final crop excluding unreported cotton. January 1, 2002 arrivals are currently 6.1 million bales (480-pound). Arrivals are expected to continue for the next few months.
China: Bumper Cotton Crop is Estimated
Chinas 2001/02 cotton crop is estimated at 24.4 million bales (5.31 million tons), up 0.9 million or 4 percent from last month and up 20 percent from last year. The 2001/02 crop is the largest since 1991/92 (26.1 million bales) and the third-largest crop on record. This estimate reflects preliminary provincial harvest reports and is consistent with data recently released by Chinas National Bureau of Statistics. Planted area is estimated at 4.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 20 percent from last year and the highest since 1995/96. High domestic cotton prices in 2000 encouraged farmers to expand planted area for 2001/02, especially on the North China Plain. Area is expected to decline for 2002/03 in response to lower procurement prices in 2001 and WTO limits on export subsidies. Timely summer rainfall and nearly ideal harvesting conditions helped China achieve a yield of 1107 kilograms per hectare in 2001/02, up slightly from last years record yield. Yields have been increasing steadily since 1992/93 for several reasons, including the expanded use of BT cotton on the North China Plain, better crop management, and the concentration of planted area in Xinjiang Province, where yields are higher than the national average.
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