Greenies are constantly warning that we about to run out of food. We're not
Thomas Malthus, Adolf Hitler and Paul Ehrlich are the best known prophets of food shortages but there are many others. It is a perennial scare
IMPROVED late-season yield prospects in greater Europe and Australia have lifted the estimate for global wheat production by 5.9 million tonnes (Mt) from the previous Agricultural Market Information Systems (AMIS) estimate released last month.
The lift was offset by a total 1Mt decline in projections in Canada and Argentina.
The net 4.8Mt increase lifts the forecast for the world 2020-21 wheat crop to a record 764.9Mt, pipping by just a few million tonnes the previous records set in 2019-20 and 2017-18 (chart 1).
This month’s upward revisions included Australia and the EU, both up 2.2Mt from last month’s estimate, a 1Mt lift for the Russian Federation, and Ukraine up 500,000t.
Utilisation in 2020-21 is expected to grow at a slightly faster pace than projected earlier, supported by stronger feed use in China.
Trade in 2020-21 (July-June) is also expected to grow following brisk import demand, especially by China and Egypt.
Stocks ending in 2021 are lifted by almost 3Mt following this month’s upwards revisions in the EU, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine.
Conditions mostly favourable
In Argentina, conditions are mixed, with recent rainfall in the south improving conditions. However, in the north and west regions, crop conditions are poor and mostly irreversible due to prolonged dryness throughout the season.
In Australia, conditions are generally favourable except for Queensland which experienced persistent dryness and Western Australia following a dry September.
By contrast, New South Wales is showing exceptional conditions with an expansion of sown area.
In Canada, spring wheat harvest is progressing under favourable conditions with slightly above average yields expected.
In the EU, winter-wheat sowing has begun under generally favourable conditions except for France and Romania where dryness from the summer persists.
In the Russian Federation, spring-wheat harvesting is wrapping up under favourable conditions. Winter-wheat sowing is progressing under dry conditions, particularly in the south, which is hampering emergence and more rainfall is needed before winter dormancy.
In Ukraine, sowing of winter wheat is beginning under mixed conditions due to drought across much of the country, which is delaying sowing for much of the crop.
In the US, sowing of winter wheat is ongoing under favourable conditions.
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