Canada, Australia raise wheat crop estimates

by World Grain Staff
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Canada and Australia raised their wheat production estimates last week, ensuring the world’s wheat crop in 2013-14 will be the largest ever harvested.

Statistics Canada on Dec. 4 estimated Canada’s wheat production in 2013 at a record 37,530,000 tonnes, up 4,504,000 tonnes, or 14%, from its September forecast and up 10,325,000 tonnes, or 38%, from 27,205,000 tonnes in 2012. The recent five-year average Canadian wheat outturn was 26,210,000 tonnes.

The new Statistics Canada estimate was 4 million tonnes higher than the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimate for that country (Nov. 8) and 4.2 million tonnes higher than the most recent International Grains Council (IGC) estimate (Nov. 28). The production estimate was 11% above the average of pre-report trade expectations.

Canadian production of spring wheat (other than durum) was estimated at 27,239,000 tonnes, up about 45% from 18.845,000 million tonnes in 2012. Durum production was estimated at 6,505,000 tonnes, up 41% from 4,627,000 tonnes last year. Winter wheat production was estimated at 3,786,000 tonnes, up 1% from 3,733,000 tonnes a year ago.

With the Australian wheat harvest well under way, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on Dec. 3 raised its estimate for Australian wheat production in 2013-14 to 26,213,000 tonnes, up 1,746,000 tonnes, or 7%, from its previous forecast issued in September and up 3,752,000 tonnes, or 17% from 22,461,000 tonnes in 2012-13. The recent five-year average Australian wheat outturn was 24,606,000 tonnes. The new ABARES wheat crop estimate was 700,000 tonnes higher than the current USDA forecast (Nov. 8) for that country and was 900,000 tonnes higher than the current IGC forecast (Nov. 28).

Australia’s largest crop at 29,905,000 tonnes was harvested in 2011-12.

ABARES noted, “Indications so far are that wheat protein levels are below average in Western Australia and South Australia, but above average in northern New South Wales and Queensland.”

Even before the new Canadian and Australian crop estimates, both the IGC and the USDA forecast world wheat production in 2013-14 at a new record. The IGC’s Nov. 28 forecast was for a 2013-14 world wheat crop of 698.4 million tonnes, and the USDA’s Nov. 8 forecast was for a world wheat crop of 706.38 million tonnes. The difference between the two estimates typically narrow before each publishes its final estimates.


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