By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst
With the Northern Hemisphere 2017/18 wheat crop now safely in the bin, all eyes are now watching Southern Hemisphere harvest progress and the condition of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter wheat. Here are brief summaries of current harvest progress and winter wheat crop conditions around the world.
Southern Hemisphere Harvest.
Argentina. On Dec. 7, Bolsa de Cereales, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, reported Argentine wheat harvest is 45 percent complete, up from 31 percent complete last week and significantly ahead of last year’s pace. To date, Argentinian farmers have harvested 6.10 MMT with an average yield of 2.56 metric tons (MT) per hectare (38.1 bu/acre). Bolsa forecasts total Argentine wheat production at 17.0 MMT. If realized, that would be 8 percent below 2016/17, but 34 percent above the 5-year average.
Australia. According to Grain Central, an Australian farm publication, harvest has resumed after heavy rains fell last week on mature wheat, damaging yield potential and quality. The Australia Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecast 2017/18 Australian wheat production to fall 20.3 MMT. If realized, that would be 20 percent below the 5-year average.
Northern Hemisphere Winter Wheat Planted Area and Conditions.
European Union. Strategie Grains forecast 2018/19 European Union (EU) planted winter wheat area at 23.3 million hectares (57.5 million acres), down slightly from 2017/18 due to reduced planted area in the Baltic States. Dry conditions in Spain, which hindered wheat emergence this fall were also noted. On Dec. 13, FranceAgriMer rated 95 percent of French winter wheat in good to excellent condition in its last crop condition report for 2017.
Russia. Russian farmers planted winter grains on 17.1 million hectares (42.2 million acres) for 2018/19, down 1 percent from the prior year according to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. In recent years, winter wheat accounted for an estimated 87 percent of winter grain planted area. Reuters reports that additional snow is needed to protect the crops and replenish soil moisture after a dry autumn.
Ukraine. UkrAgroConsult reported winter wheat planted area for 2018/19 at 5.9 million hectares (14.6 million acres), down 3 percent from 2017/18 due to unfavorable planting conditions. Forty-seven percent of winter grains were rated in good condition, up from 38 percent in 2016. The share of winter grains rated as satisfactory is 36 percent, compared to 45 percent last year.