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Wheat production expected to rebound in 2019

11 Mar 2019

FAO-AMIS foresees global wheat production to strongly recover from last year, rising by 4.0 percent, to 757.4 million tonnes in 2019. This would be close to the record crop of 2017, with the bulk of the recovery originating in the European Union, where a larger planted area, combined with thus far favourable weather, is seen driving up wheat production by at least 8 percent from last year’s six-year low.

In the Russian Federation, an expectation of increased overall plantings and beneficial weather could similarly push up production by almost 10 percent, while this year’s wheat output in the Ukraine is forecast to rise by nearly 8 percent. In North America, production is likely to remain close to last year’s level in the United States, but could increase by around 4 percent in Canada. In Australia, a strong rebound from last year’s drought-afflicted level is foreseen, though wheat planting will only begin in May. Elsewhere, the 2019 output in India could arrive close to last year’s record level, while a contraction is predicted for Pakistan.

This time last year, FAO-AMIS published its first – equally optimistic – wheat production forecast for 2018. How good was it? Comparing it with early predictions by the other two major sources (namely USDA and IGC), AMIS didn’t fare so badly, but all three agencies had to make downward adjustments as the season progressed. As shown in the line graph, forecasts from all three sources followed a rather similar trend and, as one would expect, started to converge when countries’ production estimates became firmer. A lower estimate of China’s wheat production was among the main reasons why the FAO-AMIS global production estimate for 2018 ended up lower compared to the other two sources.

* AMIS is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with which it shares a common data platform. Global forecasts and all data referring to non-AMIS countries are provided by FAO, hence the notion FAO-AMIS.

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