European Union wheat production for 2018/19 is estimated at 137.5 million metric tons (mmt), down 7.5 mmt or 5 percent from last month, down 14.2 mmt or 9 percent from last year, and down 9 percent from the 5-year average due to high temperatures and drought, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said in Friday.
It said in its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report that area is estimated at 25.6 million hectares (mha), nearly unchanged from last month, but down 0.7 mha from last year.
“Yield is estimated at 5.36 tons per hectare, down 5 percent from last month, down 7 percent from last year, and down 6 percent from the 5-year average,” it said.
According to the report, drought and higher-than-normal temperatures continued in July throughout most of northern Europe. This unfavourable combination has been ongoing since June, further depleting scant soil moisture, accelerating crop development and lowering yields.
Specifically, wheat production is estimated down 3.0 million tons in Germany due to very poor conditions in the north. Estimated wheat production in France is down 1.75 million tons based on harvest reports. Meanwhile in Spain, estimated production increased 1.1 million tons due to beneficial rainfall. Estimated production in Romania and Bulgaria were lowered due to excessive rain.
Drought recovery causes yield rebound in Russia
The USDA estimates Russia’s 2018/19 production at 68.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.0 mmt from last month but down 17.0 mmt from last year’s record crop.
The estimate includes 48.5 mmt of winter wheat and 19.5 mmt of spring wheat, and excludes estimated output from Crimea.
Harvested area is estimated at 25.5 million hectares (14.0 mha winter and 11.5 mha spring), unchanged from last month and down 1.8 mha from last year.
Total wheat yield, the USDA said, is estimated at 2.67 metric tons per hectare, up 1 percent from last month and down 14 percent from last year’s record. Winter wheat harvest is underway and is ahead of last year’s pace at about 70 percent complete. Russia’s spring wheat harvest usually begins in late August and continues through October, it added.