November 4, 2011


Italy reduces 2011 soft wheat production forecast



Italy, a key grain purchaser in Europe, produced less soft wheat this year than previously expected whereas its durum wheat output was larger, according to revised information from Italy's statistics agency ISTAT.


ISTAT has cut its estimate of 2011 soft wheat output to 2.75 million tonnes from an earlier estimate of 2.91 million tonnes, after slashing its view on planted areas to 508,000 hectares from 521,000 hectares, a senior grain expert said.


Output of durum wheat, used for making pasta, has been raised by ISTAT to about 3.8 million tonnes in 2011 from a previous estimate of 3.67 million tonnes, due to higher yields per hectare, while planted areas were unchanged at about 1.15 million hectares, a senior grain expert at Italy's biggest farmers association Coldiretti said on Thursday (Nov 3).

ISTAT sees corn output in Italy, a major corn producer in Europe, at about 10 million tonnes on planted areas of above one million hectares, according to the first official estimate of this year's corn crop, the expert said.

ISTAT is yet to publish its 2011 corn crop estimate and update wheat estimates.


"We agree with ISTAT on wheat estimates but disagree on corn and soy," the expert said.


Coldiretti, which estimates 2011 corn crop at 10.5-11.0 million tonnes, has asked ISTAT to check its figures for corn and soy, the expert said.


Soy output is estimated by ISTAT at some 552,000 tonnes on 160,000 hectares of planted areas, while Coldiretti sees this year's soy output at 750,000-800,000 tonnes on 240,000 hectares of sown areas, he said.


Italy's soft wheat output was 2.94 million tonnes in 2010 while durum output was 4.01 million tonnes and corn production was 8.67 million tonnes, according to ISTAT data.

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