November 11, 2008

USDA again raises forecast for 2008-09 global wheat production


The US Department of Agriculture has again raised its forecast for global wheat production for the 2008-09 marketing year to 682.4 million tonnes, according to the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.


"Global wheat production is projected at a record 682.4 million tonnes, up 2.2 million [tonnes] from last month," the USDA said in the report issued Monday. "Increases for [the European Union] and Russia more than offset reductions for Argentina, Australia and China."


Farmers in the European Union are now forecast to produce 150.6 million tonnes, up from the October prediction of 147.17 million tonnes, the USDA said. And Russia, "as harvest results confirm higher yields," is now expected to harvest 63 million tonnes, up from 61 million tonnes.


The forecasts for wheat production in Argentina, Australia and China were lowered, the USDA said.


"Argentina production is lowered 1 million tonnes as persistent early season dryness limited crop development and reduced yield potential more than previously expected," the USDA said. "Australian production is reduced 1.5 million tonnes as dryness continued through October in the southern growing areas, reducing expected yields and harvested area."


The USDA, in reaction to new data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics, said it has lowered the 2008-09 forecast for Chinese wheat production to 113 million tonnes, a 1-million tonne decrease from last month's forecast.


The forecast for US wheat production remains unchanged this month at 68.03 million tonnes.

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