World wheat production in 2013/14 is projected to reach 695.9 million tons, down 5.2 million this month, while foreign production is down 5.9 million to 639.2 million. Wheat production is projected down for Russia, Ukraine, the EU-27,and Tunisia.
The largest decline in the 2013/14 wheat output is projected for Ukraine, down 2.5 million tons to 19.5 million this month, with both area and yield reduced. Wheat area is projected slightly lower (by 0.1 million hectares) this month, reflecting new official estimates on planted area adjusted for winterkill. While the northern, western, and central parts of Ukraine are enjoying comparatively favorable growing conditions, the southern regions of the country, as well as parts of eastern regions (such as Kherson, Nikolayev, Zaporozhe, Odessa, and especially the Crimea),suffered a 6-week stretch of excessive heat and low precipitation, beginning in the second half of April and running through mid- to late May. Most wheat in Ukraine is currently going through the milk stage of development. Despite recent beneficial grains in the region, the preceding abnormal heat is expected to adversely affect wheat yields.
Wheat production in Russia is down 2.0 million tons to 54.0 million this month. Parts of the major winter wheat producing areas of the South District (neighboring Ukraine) and some of the adjacent parts of the Volga District were hurt in May by relentless heat and dryness during the critical flowering and early filling stages of plant development. Temperatures were consistently 5-10 degrees C higher than normal. In the northern part of the South District, the number of days when it was hotter than 30° C (86° F) was almost 4 times higher than a 30-year average.
Precipitation was insufficient and unevenly distributed in the region, totaling around 45 percent of the 30-year average. In addition, persistent rainfall (150-200 percent of normal) and cool weather delayed planting of spring grains in Siberia, which might affect the final rate of abandonment, given the region’s short window for the crop-growing season.
Wheat output is projected down 1.3 million tons this month for the EU-27 to 137.4 million, with slightly reduced area and yield. Wheat output is projected down by 0.4, 0.2, and 0.1 million tons in Italy, Poland and Germany, respectively, as early statistical estimates suggest lower area and yield in these countries. Wheat output is also slightly reduced for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Sweden.
Recent flooding in the Po valley in Italy is expected to have only a marginal effect on the country’s wheat output, as the main wheat growing areas are located to the south of the floods. This month’s excessive precipitation and flooding in Central and Eastern Europe is also not expected to have a large impact on wheat development as it occurred between the periods of planting and harvesting; rather, excess rainfall is likely to replenish soil moisture in the region.
Wheat production is slightly reduced for Tunisia, where growing conditions appear to have worsened somewhat in the areas away from the coast.