IGC lowers wheat production forecast | 2021-08-02

LONDON — The International Grains Council on July 29 lowered its forecast for 2021-22 world wheat production by 1.3 million tonnes, to 788.1 million tonnes, still a record world outturn and compared with 773.4 million tonnes in 2020-21. The IGC said its lower production forecast was tied to downgrades for crop prospects in the United States, Canada and Russia, which more than offset higher production projections for Pakistan, Brazil, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The IGC forecast US wheat production this year at 47.5 million tonnes, down 3.6 million tonnes, or 7%, from its June projection and down 2.2 million tonnes, or 4%, from 49.7 million tonnes in 2020.

“The US winter wheat harvest was delayed by wet conditions but made better progress in the second half of July, reaching 84% done by 25 July (81% average),” the IGC noted. “Crop quality was reported to be mixed, with hard red winter average protein improving recently. Owing to good yields and higher area, winter wheat production is forecast to increase by 16% year over year to 37.1 million tonnes.”

The IGC noted because of sustained drought in the US northern Plains, US production of hard red spring wheat was projected to drop to a more than three-decade low.

The IGC forecast Canadian wheat production in 2021 at 28.5 million tonnes, down 3.8 million tonnes from the June outlook and down 6.7 million tonnes, or 19%, from 35.2 million tonnes in 2020.

“Due to sustained heat and dryness, crop conditions worsened across western Canada,” the IGC said. Crops have developed more quickly than normal, which likely will adversely affect yield potential.

The Russian crop was projected at 81 million tonnes, down 0.5 million from the June forecast and down 4.4 million tonnes, or 5%, from 85.4 million tonnes in 2020.

“The first stages of Russia’s winter wheat harvest were delayed by rains, reaching an estimated 57% complete by 26 July with yields disappointing so far, averaging slightly lower year over year,” the IGC said. “Spring growing areas remained dry with only limited relief following recent showers.”

The IGC projected the EU crop at 137.7 million tonnes, up 1.7 million tonnes from the June forecast and up 13.2 million tonnes, or 11%, from 124.5 million tonnes in 2020. The IGC said the higher EU forecast was tied to an increase projected for France. “However, there are worries about harvest delays and potential quality problems,” the IGC observed. “Weather in Germany has been extremely variable, but with the worst of the mid-month flooding outside the main growing regions.”

The IGC also raised its production forecasts for the UK (to 14.6 million tonnes from 14 million), Brazil (to 7.9 million tonnes from 6.9 million), Pakistan (to 27 million tonnes from 25.5 million), and Australia (to 28.9 million tonnes from 28 million).

China was projected to remain the world’s largest wheat-producing nation with a forecast crop of 136 million tonnes for the current year, followed by India, which is projected to harvest 108.8 million tonnes.