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USDA World Agricultural Production


13 July 2015

USDA World Agricultural Production - 13 July 2015USDA World Agricultural Production - 13 July 2015


USDA World Agricultural Production

EU Corn: Reduction Due to Severe Heat at Pollination in Spain and France; Dryness in Central Europe

European Union (EU) 2015/16 corn production is forecast at 65.8 million tons, 2.4 million tons below last month and 9.3 million tons below last year’s revised estimate. The current crop is 1.2 percent above the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 9.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month and nominally changed from last year. Area is 2.3 percent above the 5-year average of 9.3 million hectares. Yield is estimated at 6.93 tons per hectare, 3.5 percent below last month, 12 percent below last year and 1 percent below the 5-year average.

Estimated corn production has been lowered 1.4 million tons (MMT) in France to 14.5 million tons, 0.3 million tons in Italy to 7.2 MMT, 0.2 million tons in Germany to 4.5 MMT, 0.2 million tons in Spain to 3.8 MMT, 0.2 million tons in Poland to 4.1 MMT and 0.1 million tons in Hungary 7.7 MMT.

Extreme heat has intensified the dryness, particularly in Spain and the corn belt of southwest France where temperatures reached well over 40°C for an extended period. According to weather-based crop models and confirmation with USDA Offices of Agricultural Affairs in Madrid and Paris, corn in Spain and southern France are now in the highly sensitive silk/tasseling stage, when high temperatures can take a large toll.

The USDA 2014/15 corn production estimate for the EU has been revised up 1.3 million tons as late harvest information for France revealed much of the record crop was stored on-farm and not counted until well after harvest. The 2014/15 EU corn estimate of 75.0 million tons reflects this revision. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

Brazil Corn: Record 2014/15 Production of 82 Million Tons due to Second Crop

USDA estimates 2014/15 Brazil corn production at a record 82.0 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month, and up 2.0 million tons from the prior year. There was no change to the area estimate of 15.3 million hectares, but area is down 3.2 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 5.36 tons per hectare due to the increase in second-season corn yields. Brazil’s previous record corn production of 81.5 million tons was achieved in 2012/13.

Brazil has two seasons for corn production. First-season corn is planted in September and harvested in March. A larger second-season, or safrinha crop, is expected to be 64 percent of national production. The safrinha crop is planted after the early season soybean harvest typically in January and February. Safrinha crop is harvested in June through August and is mostly exported. Harvest progress is 13 percent complete in the main state of Mato Grosso.

Brazil’s safrinha corn yield is estimated at a record 5.66 tons per hectare, up 2.3 percent from last month. Safrinha corn yield is determined chiefly by rainfall in April and May, and this year rainfall was above normal. Satellite-derived vegetation indices (NDVI) for second-crop corn indicate an excellent crop in Mato Grosso; record corn yields are expected. Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul are doing very well. Parana is similar to slightly below last year in biomass. (For more information, please contact Robert.Tetrault@fas.usda.gov.)

Brazil Corn: 2015/16 Production Forecast at 77 Million Tons

USDA forecasts 2015/16 Brazil corn production at 77.0 million tons, up 2.0 million tons from last month, but down 5.0 million tons from last year’s record. Area is forecast at 15.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million hectares from last month but down 0.3 million hectares from last year. Yield is forecast at 5.13 tons per hectare. USDA’s forecast of corn area increased due to improved expected returns for the second-crop corn.

First-season corn is expected to decrease by 3 percent relative to last year because better returns for soybeans are anticipated to increase plantings. First-season corn directly competes for land with soybeans in the southern states of Brazil. Safrinha corn, however, follows soybeans and is planted after the soybean harvest in the Center-West region of Brazil. As soybean area increases, more land is available for safrinha corn. Estimates of safrinha corn area for the last three years have been underreported by local government officials. Brazilian farmers look to both prices and the government supported auctions when making decisions about safrinha corn planting.

USDA forecasts 63 percent of the 2015/16 crop’s production will be from the safrinha crop, higher than the 5-year average of 50 percent. As more of the total corn crop shifts to the safrinha season the yield for Brazil increases because safrinha corn has higher yields than first-season corn. For the last four years safrinha corn yields have been higher than average (5.13, 5.19, 5.25 and 5.66 tons per hectare) due to an extended rainy season. Typically the rainy season in the Center-West region of Brazil ends the last week of April or the beginning of May, but recently the rains have continued until the end of May and the beginning of June. USDA assumes normal weather for the extent of the rainy season in 2015/16. (For more information, please contact Robert.Tetrault@fas.usda.gov.)

Russia Wheat: Beneficial June Rainfall for Spring Wheat

USDA estimates Russia wheat production for 2015/16 at 57.0 million tons, up 2.0 million tons from last month but down 2.1 million from last year. Harvested area is estimated to increase from 25.2 to 25.5 million hectares, against 23.6 million hectares last year, based on preliminary sown-area data from the Ministry of Agriculture. Yield is estimated at 2.24 tons per hectare, up 2.4 percent from last month, down 11 percent from last year, and 4.7 percent above the 5-year average. The month-to-month increase is attributed to beneficial rainfall in the major springwheat production zones, including the Siberian, Ural, and Volga Districts. Production prospects remain high for winter wheat in the Southern and North Caucasus Districts, which together account for about 60 percent of the country’s winter wheat output. Below-normal yields however, are estimated for winter crops in the Central District, which never fully recovered from severe fall dryness despite generally favorable spring weather. Winter wheat harvest is underway in the southernmost territories of European Russia. Spring wheat harvest will begin in August. (For more information, please contact Mark.Lindeman@fas.usda.gov.)

Kazakhstan Wheat: Output Forecast to Increase from Last Year Despite Lower Area

USDA forecasts Kazakhstan wheat production for 2015/16 at 13.5 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month and up 0.5 million from last year. The increase is based on continued aboveaverage precipitation, which has boosted the forecast yield to 1.17 tons per hectare, up 8.0 percent from last month, up 7.7 percent from last year, and 9.6 percent above the 5-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 11.5 million hectares against 11.9 million last year. A small portion of the area planted to wheat typically remains unharvested at the end of the season due to drought during the summer or unfavorable weather during the harvest campaign. USDA’s harvested-area forecast of 11.5 million hectares for 2015/16 is based on the average abandonment rate of 3 percent.

Kazakhstan wheat area has decreased by about 20 percent since 2009 due in part to a government policy encouraging agricultural enterprises to diversify their output by reducing wheat area and increasing the area sown to oilseeds and other feed crops. Between 2009 and 2014, the area planted to wheat decreased by 2.4 million hectares, from 14.8 to 12.4 million hectares. During the same time, oilseeds area increased by 1.5 million hectares, from 0.8 to 2.3 million, and forage-crop area increased by 1.0 million hectares, from 2.3 to 3.3 million. (For more information, please contact Mark.Lindeman@fas.usda.gov.)

Ukraine Wheat: Beneficial Rain Further Boosts Yield Prospects

USDA estimates Ukraine wheat production for 2015/16 at 24.0 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month. The revised estimate is down only 0.8 million from last year’s bumper crop and would be the fourth-highest wheat harvest in Ukraine’s history. Harvested area is unchanged at 6.8 million hectares, up 0.5 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at 3.53 tons per hectare, up 4.3 percent from last month, down 10 percent from last year, and 9.2 percent above the 5-year average. The winter wheat crop, which accounts for over 95 percent of the country’s total wheat output, has benefited from favorable spring weather in most of the main production regions. Harvest was just underway at the end of June and will continue until midAugust. (For more information, please contact Mark.Lindeman@fas.usda.gov.)

Canada Wheat: Persistent Dryness Impacting Production

USDA estimates 2015/16 Canada wheat production at 27.5 million tons, down 5.2 percent from the previous month and down 6.1 percent from last year due to adverse growing conditions. Harvested area is estimated at 9.6 million hectares, unchanged from the previous month, but up 1.5 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 2.86 tons per hectare, down 5.2 percent from the previous month and down 7.5 percent from last year. This reduction is due to persistent dryness impacting the major wheat producing areas. The Western Prairies have not received sufficient rainfall since April. Soil moisture is becoming depleted across the prairies, due to hot and dry conditions. Saskatchewan’s latest provincial report rated wheat condition at 52 percent good-to-excellent; however in Alberta, wheat condition is rated at 33 percent good-to-excellent. (For more information, please contact Arnella.Trent@fas.usda.gov.)

European Union Wheat: Production Down As Dryness and Heat Overtake Principal Regions

European Union (EU) 2015/16 wheat production is estimated at 147.9 million tons, 2.8 million tons below last month, and 8.6 million tons below last year’s record crop. It remains above the 5-year average of 141.9 million tons by 5.9 million. Area is estimated at 26.5 million hectares, practically unchanged from last month, but down 0.2 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at 5.58 tons per hectare, 1.8 percent from last month and 4.7 percent from last year, but it remains above the 5- year average by 2.6 percent.

The combination of dryness and heat has reduced estimated EU wheat yields after unfavorable May and June weather. Wheat production is reduced 1.3 million tons in Germany to 25.5 million, 0.6 million in France to 39.8 million, 0.6 million in Spain and 0.3 million in Hungary. Low rainfall levels, minimal soil moisture and high temperatures contributed to deterioration in crop conditions in the wheat/rapeseed belt.

Personnel from the USDA/FAS traveled to Spain in June and observed deteriorating wheat conditions throughout much of the country, due to extreme heat and dryness. The southern durum producing region of Andalucía experienced good yields because the crop was farther along when the weather worsened. Crop travel in the United Kingdom in June confirmed excellent conditions for wheat. While there are pockets of mild dryness, most of the soils have high moisture holding capacity and have sufficient moisture to finish the crop. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

Thailand Rice: Production Forecast to Decline

USDA estimates Thailand total milled rice production for 2015/16 at 19.0 million tons, down 0.8 million tons from last month but up 0.3 million tons from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 10.5 million hectares, down 0.2 million hectares from last month but up 3 million hectares from last year. Yields are estimated below-average at 2.74 tons per hectare, down 1.1 percent from last year. Poor early season rainfall during the important May-June planting period in Thailand’s Central Plains region has impeded planting operations in a prime irrigated rice growing area. Continued restrictions of irrigation supply have also reduced farmer ability to plant at a normal pace. It is estimated by USDA staff in Bangkok that rice area in this region will decline approximately 160,000 hectares this year as a result of drought and deficient irrigation supply. Overall wet season crop yields are also expected to decline compared to last year owing to the loss of a portion of the country’s high-yielding irrigated crop. USDA/Bangkok also reported that approximately 85 percent of the national rice crop is yet to be planted. These are primarily rainfed crops grown throughout the Northeast and Northern regions. The rainfall pattern during the July-October period is particularly critical this year in determining both wet season crop prospects and dry season irrigation supply. Key reservoirs that support irrigated dry season rice cultivation are currently at historically low levels. These reservoirs, however, are typically replenished during the summer wet season. Therefore the volume, timing and distribution of rainfall during the remainder of the 2015 wet season will largely determine the fate of both seasonal crops. The wet season rice crop typically accounts for 72 percent of total rice production, whereas the dry season crop accounts for 28 percent. (For more information, please contact Michael.Shean@fas.usda.gov.)

European Union Rapeseed: Dryness and Heat Reduces Crop Potential

European Union (EU) 2015/16 rapeseed production is forecast at 21.4 million tons, down 0.7 million tons from last month and down 2.9 million tons from last year’s record crop. The current crop is 0.4 million tons above the 5-year average of 21.0 million tons. Area is estimated at 6.6 million hectares, 0.2 million hectares below last year’s record and 2.4 percent below the 5-year average of 6.7 million hectares. Yield is estimated at 3.26 tons per hectare (MT/Ha), down 3.3 percent from last month and down 9.1 percent from last year’s record of 3.59 MT/Ha. The current crop yield is 4.3 percent above the 5-year average of 3.13 MT/Ha

EU 2015/16 rapeseed production is estimated lower in three of the EU’s four top-producing countries (by 0.35 million tons in Germany, 0.25 million in France, and 0.12 million in Poland). Dryness in northern Europe began in May and continued throughout June, encompassing both the moisture sensitive flowering and podfill stages. Exacerbating the dryness and accelerating crop development, temperatures remained well above average, soaring to record levels at times. Low rainfall levels, minimal soil moisture and high temperatures contributed to deterioration in crop conditions in the wheat/rapeseed belt. Reports from France indicate smaller kernels.

Personnel from the USDA/FAS traveled in June to the EU’s other top rapeseed producer, the United Kingdom (UK), and observed quite different results than the conditions on the continent. Although UK area is down from last year due to lower prices, lower biofuel demand, and various EU policy changes, yield is only slightly lower than last year’s bumper crop. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

Individual European Union Country Production Estimates Available

USDA area yield and production estimates for major grains, oilseed, and cotton in individual European Union Countries are available each month as a downloadable data set. These estimates can be found at http://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/psdDownload.aspx. The file is a zip file in csv format. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

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