Great expectations for Russian and Ukrainian wheat, rain helps Australian crop

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Great expectations for Russian and Ukrainian wheat

Related tags Australia Wheat

The production estimate for the 2015/16 global wheat crop is 720.3 metric tons (Mt), according to a report from the International Grains Council (IGC), released late last week.

The crop forecast is 10Mt higher than that pegged in its July report and on par with the record 2014/15 crop, said grain market specialists based at the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

However, the Grains Council latest estimate​ is lower than the 726.6Mt projected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), said Dr Amandeep Kaur Purewal, senior analyst, AHDB Market Intelligence.

“Greater expectations for the Russian and Ukrainian wheat crops were the main drivers behind the IGC’s revised forecast,”​ she said.

The Russian crop is now pegged at 59Mt, compared with 55Mt in July and Ukraine’s wheat output has been raised from 22Mt to 25Mt.

The outlook for EU wheat is also more optimistic – it is now forecast at 151.9Mt compared with 148.5Mt in July. But Canadian wheat output was revised down 2.5Mt to 25.5Mt due to dry weather impacting yields.

Global wheat closing stocks are now forecast at 206Mt, 5Mt higher than July’s estimate as the increase in production offsets an upward revision to global demand.

Maize production

The IGC have also raised their estimates for world maize production by nearly 2Mt to 967.8Mt.

“Overall, heavier global grain supplies are likely to keep the pressure on global prices - for now at least,”​ said Purewal.

Wet weather boosts Australian wheat prospects

Meanwhile, in a separate report, AHDB’s Isobel Robinson said rainfall has helped prospects for the Australian wheat crop.

“The rain arrived at a crucial point in the crop’s development with some parts of Western Australia, the major grain producing state, seeing the most rainfall in the past three months.

Usually, El Nino brings drought-like conditions to Australia. So far, severe weather has not arrived but forecasters have warned that El Nino could strengthen towards the end of the year. There could also be wetter weather in Western Australia during harvest in November/December, which could potentially downgrade more of the wheat crop to feed grades,”​ she added.

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