Analytical Reports

World Agricultural Production

Northwest Africa Wheat: Weather Problems Lead to Another Below-Average Maghreb Wheat Crop in MY 2023/24
Northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) marketing year (MY) 2023/24 wheat production is estimated to be low for a second consecutive year. Later than normal rains during planting, and drought and heat during much of the season contributed to this unfavorable outlook. This season will be the fourth of the last 5 years that is below average, with MY 2021/2022 being the remarkably good year and last year being an exceptionally poor year. The combined total production for these three countries in the Maghreb region is forecast at 7.3 million metric tons (mmt) versus 7.6 mmt last year and 11.2 mmt in MY 2021/2022. Sub-par weather prevailed almost entirely across the region during the crop growing season. Rainfall, the limiting variable, was both minimal and infrequent in most areas of Northwest Africa. The satellite-derived Percent Average Seasonal Greenness (PASG) image shows the extent of the poor vegetation health across the region.

Morocco is the dominant producer of the three countries. It is estimated to produce 3.8 mmt of wheat compared to 2.7 mmt last year. Early winter precipitation benefitted the crop, however, limited spring rainfall impeded recovery. Yield is estimated at 1.49 tons per hectare (t/ha), above last year’s abysmal 1.08 t/ha. Rains arrived late in Morocco, lowering seeding rates and creating sub-optimal conditions. Except for early winter rains, Morocco was especially dry all season; in general, the farther south, the drier the conditions and the poorer the crops. Several years of poor weather has lowered Morocco’s 5-year production average to 4.9 mmt. Harvested area for MY 2023/24 is estimated at 2.6 million hectares (mha,) slightly above last year, but 5 percent below the 5-year average.

Algeria is forecast to produce just 2.7 mmt from 2.1 mha, with a 1.30 t/ha yield. This compares unfavorably to MY 2022/23, with 3.7 mmt, similar area, and a yield of 1.78 t/ha. The MY 2023/24 crop is estimated to be 21 percent below the 5-year average production. Algeria, also starved for moisture, saw little relief to salvage its crop during the season. The crops doing the best in Algeria are in the eastern highlands, where rainfall was most frequent and vegetation vigor was the highest.

Tunisia’s arable land is the smallest of these three Maghreb countries, with total harvested area dropping 19 percent below the 5-year average to 435,000 hectares. Production is forecast at 0.8 mmt, down 0.4 mmt or 35 percent from last year, and down 33 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at 1.84 t/ha, down 24 percent from last year and 17 percent from the 5-year average. An interesting dynamic has set-up where a very narrow band of healthy wheat exists along a swath of the northern coast. Sufficient rainfall in the far north has kept this area’s portion of Tunisia’s grain crop healthy. Conversely, the area to the south is in extremely poor condition due to a substantial lack of soil moisture. Crop travel to the region by FAS staff in March 2023 underscored the dire effects experienced in Tunisia’s large, central growing region. Visits with farmers in this region, who had already lost their crop due to the drought, were left with the lessthan-ideal options of either collecting any surviving grain for next year’s planting seeds, or having the marginal crop grazed off by livestock. In many cases, there was no option; the plants were already dead as seen in the photograph of fields near Bou Salem, Tunisia. The inset in the Northwest Africa: Wheat-Growing Area PASG map details the small area of favorable crops in northern Tunisia.

European Union Wheat: Favorable Conditions for MY 2023/24 Except the Iberian Peninsula
Wheat production in the European Union (EU) for marketing year (MY) 2023/2024 is estimated at 139.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 3 percent from last year, and 5 percent above the 132.2 mmt 5-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 24.4 million hectares (mha), up slightly from last year and 2 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at 5.69 tons per hectare, 3 percent above last year and the 5-year average.
Apart from Spain and Portugal where short- and long-term drought have significantly lowered expectations, favorable crop conditions exist across the EU. Satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomaly imagery of Europe at the end of April depicts vigorous vegetation everywhere except the Iberian Peninsula.
Planting conditions last fall were beneficial with good soil moisture levels, encouraging emergence and development. Winter was particularly mild with above-average temperatures resulting in minimal-to-no winterkill. After a dry winter, soil moisture has been increasing during spring with more rain; however, precipitation must soon taper off to allow for sunlight, inputs, and field work to aid the crop. Satellite-derived MODIS (NDVI) depicts almost every region in the EU (except Spain and Portugal) to be above average or at record-level greenness. Wheat production from the three largest producers is forecast at 36.6 mmt in France (35.0 mmt last year), 22.1 mmt (22.6 mmt) in Germany, and 13.3 mmt (13.4 mmt) in Poland.

Australia Wheat: MY 2023/24 Production Forecast 26 Percent Lower from Last Year’s Record Season
Australia wheat production for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 is forecast at 29.0 million metric tons (mmt), down 26 percent from last year’s record, but up 4 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at 2.32 tons per hectare, down 23 percent from last year’s record, but up 1 percent from the 5-year average. Total harvested area is forecast at 12.5 million hectares (mha), down 4 percent from last year, but up 7 percent from the 5-year average.
After setting a record production last season, Australia is expected to produce a more modest but still strong wheat crop in MY 2023/24. Wheat production will decline significantly to 29.0 mmt in MY 2023/24, but if realized would be the sixth largest crop. This follows a record-breaking 39.0 mmt crop in MY 2022/23, and a 36.2 mmt crop in MY 2021/22.
At present, the soil moisture across most growing areas is favorable for sowing and establishment of winter crops, including wheat. The area reduction is due to farmers having less suitable area available in their crop rotations after the previous three big-planted-area years. However, farmers are expected to favor maintaining high wheat planted area at the expense of canola and barley area, particularly after a steep drop in canola prices since mid-2022. Also, farmers will be reintroducing fallow areas into crop rotations which will reduce the available area for winter crop planting. Sowing is currently underway and will continue into June in the more southern portions of the winter grain and wheat belt.

Canada Wheat: MY 2023/24 Production Forecast Up on Increased Planting and Higher Yields
USDA forecasts Canada wheat production for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 at 37.0 million metric tons, up 9 percent from last year and 18 percent above the 5-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 10.6 million hectares, up 5 percent from last year and 9 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at 3.49 metric tons per hectare, up 4 percent over last year.
Wheat planting is expected to be up more than 6 percent over 2022, according to Statistics Canada’s recently released March 2023 Field Crop Survey. Spring wheat area, the bulk of the crop, is expected to increase 7 percent, with durum wheat rising 1 percent. Additionally, winter wheat area, planted last autumn, is up 13 percent over last year. Higher prices and strong demand are cited as reasons for more wheat area displacing minor crops.
USDA expects a small amount of area planted to be abandoned (not harvested). Based on Statistics Canada reporting, Canadian farmers abandon slightly more than 2 percent of the wheat crop that is planted or remaining (winter wheat) in the spring planting season, which begins in May. The abandonment rates reported in the above graphic do not factor winter wheat area lost to winterkill over the previous winter, and instead, factor only what is abandoned during the primary growing season. Spring varieties of wheat, the primary portion of Canada’s wheat crop, have lower abandonment rates than most other grains. Winterkill in Ontario was reportedly low due to the mild 2022/2023 winter, and conditions are favorable for wheat in the Prairies, where the predominance of spring varieties are grown. USDA forecasts yield to be above average, given the positive conditions going into the upcoming season.

Canada Rapeseed: MY 2023/24 Area and Production Increases
USDA forecasts Canada rapeseed production for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 at 20.3 million metric tons (mmt), up 7 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 8.8 million hectares, up 2 percent from last year and 1 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at 2.31 metric tons per hectare, up 4 percent from last year and similar to the 5-year average yield when omitting the drought-affected crop of MY 2021/22.
Canadian farmers are expected to plant more area to rapeseed in 2023 than last year, according to Statistics Canada’s March 2023 Field Crop Survey, owing in larger part to better returns than alternatives such as spring wheat – the other major crop grown in the Prairies. USDA factors planted area abandonment, which is relatively low for rapeseed, in determining its harvested area. Additionally, Canadian farmers have historically planted just over 2 percent more area, on average, than indicated in the March survey, requiring a further adjustment to the harvested area estimate. Conditions in the Prairies are generally normal for this time of year, and the USDA production forecast assumes an average yield.

European Union Rapeseed: MY 2023/24 Production Up on Area and Yield Increases
European Union (EU) rapeseed production is forecast at 20.5 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.0 mmt or 5 percent above last year, and up 18 percent from the 5-year average of 17.4 mmt. Harvested area is estimated at 6.1 million hectares (mha), up 0.1 mha or 2 percent from last year and 8 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at 3.38 tons per hectare (t/ha), up 3 percent from last year’s 3.29 t/ha, and 9 percent above the 5-year average of 3.09 t/ha.
Rapeseed continues to be the dominant oilseed in the EU. A gradual increase in harvested area has been occurring in the last several years since the neonicotinoid ban was first enacted, but area remains below the peak in MY 2018/19. At the time of fall planting, prices were relatively high, encouraging rapeseed planting.
Weather conditions in Europe have been good for rapeseed since planting last autumn. Winter was particularly mild with above-average temperatures which resulted in minimal-to-no winterkill. After a fairly dry winter, soil moisture has been increasing during spring with more rain, however, precipitation must soon taper off to allow for sunlight, inputs, and field work to aid the crop. Harvest occurs in June and July.
Rapeseed production in the largest EU producers is forecast at 4.6 mmt in France (4.5 mmt last year), 4.5 mmt in Germany (4.3 mmt), and 3.4 mmt in Poland (3.6 mmt). For country-specific area, yield, and production estimates within the European Union (EU), please go to PSD Online at, and select “Downloadable Data Sets.” Select the zipped file for “EU Countries Area & Production.”

China Wheat: MY 2023/24 Production Increases Year-over-Year to a New Record
The USDA forecasts China’s marketing year (MY) 2023/24 wheat production at a record 140.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 2.3 mmt or approximately 1.7 percent from last year, and up approximately 3.9 percent from the 5-year average of 134.8 mmt. Area is estimated slightly higher than last year at 23.6 million hectares (mha), up 81,000 ha or approximately 0.3 percent on last year’s 23.5 mha. Yield is forecast at a record 5.93 metric tons per hectare (t/ha), up slightly from last year at 5.86 t/ha.
The MY 2023/24 winter wheat crop is at an advanced grain filling maturity stage. Winter wheat accounts for 95 percent of total national wheat and spring wheat accounts for 5 percent. Typically winter wheat is sown in September and October; harvesting begins in mid-May and continues through the end of June. Spring wheat is sown in March through April and harvested in August through September. Overall, the winter wheat season’s soil moisture conditions during planting were characterized as wet-to-normal across the major growing regions including Henan, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces. The mid-season soil moisture conditions were normal, while the end-of-year conditions were generally normal-to-below-average in some areas. The conditions in late April indicated a favorable finish to grain filling and maturity as well as favorable harvesting weather, especially on the North China Plain. According to FAS-Beijing in early March, the winter wheat crop status was better than last year as spring planting was on time and inputs were supplied without issues. Farmers continue to be incentivized by bumper yields and high economic returns despite rising input costs. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Henan province, which accounts for one-fourth of China’s wheat production, showed that input costs (seed, pesticide, and fertilizer) per hectare for MY 2022/23 were up by 18 percent.
The early season satellite-imagery-based analysis and assessment of critical crop stages of planting, crop development, and early flowering stages indicated that production prospects were favorable. The mid-to-late season satellite assessment indicated significant improvement during critical productivity determining stages of heading, flowering, and grain filling. In general, the overall assessment indicated a near‑average area planted and expectations of above‑average yields reflecting the season’s favorable conditions as well as adequate availability of agricultural inputs, supplemental irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and high-quality seeds.

Russia Wheat: Production Forecast for MY 2023/24 is the Second Highest on Record
Russia wheat production for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 is forecast at 81.5 million metric tons (mmt), down 11 percent from last year, but up 2 percent from the 5-year average. The forecast includes 58.0 mmt of winter wheat and 23.5 mmt of spring wheat. USDA crop production forecasts for Russia exclude estimated output from Crimea. Total wheat yield is forecast at 2.96 tons per hectare, down 7 percent from last year, but up 4 percent from the 5-year average. Total harvested area is estimated at 27.5 million hectares (mha), down 5 percent from last year and 1 percent from the 5-year average.
Winter wheat typically accounts for about 70 percent of total production. According to data from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg), this season’s winter crop planted area is 17.7 mha. This is below last year’s planted area due to heavy rains during planting. Russian data does not provide area estimates per crop, but the main winter crops are wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Winter wheat accounts for about 90 percent of the total winter grains planted area. Last year winterkill was negligible overall. This year, however, imagery from the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, indicates some periods of freeze/thaw/freeze events, which would reveal the possibility of ice crusting. Therefore, the reported MinAg planted area number was adjusted to account for the expected winter loss.
Precipitation in autumn was variable, but overall, there was enough moisture for crop germination. Crops across the Central and the Volga regions entered dormancy in generally above-average condition, but crop conditions were mixed across the Southern and the North Caucuses districts. Winter precipitation was below average, especially in the more southern districts. Conditions improved during April, which aided in proper crop development and timely vegetation green up. Thus, early-season conditions for winter wheat are favorable, which suggests favorable yield prospects for this season. Winter wheat yields, however, are still largely dependent on May and June weather. Harvest of winter wheat will begin in July.
Spring wheat is mainly planted in the regions bordering Kazakhstan: the Volga, Urals, and Siberian Districts of Russia. Spring wheat planting typically starts in late April. According to MinAg, as of May 5th, spring wheat has been planted on an area of 3.5 mha, which is ahead of last year’s pace, when planted area was 1.3 mha during the same time. Harvest of spring wheat will begin in late August. Area, yield, and production estimates for Russia winter wheat and spring wheat are available on PSD Online. Select “Downloadable Data Sets” and open the zipped file for “Russia Wheat; Winter/Spring Area & Production.”

Brazil Corn: Record MY 2022/23 Production Anticipated
Brazil total corn production for marketing year (MY) 2022/23 is estimated at a record 130.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 5.0 mmt (4 percent) from last month, and larger than last year’s crop by 14.0 mmt (12 percent). Total harvested area, for all three corn crops, is estimated at 22.7 million hectares (mha), up 0.9 mha (4 percent) from last year. Yield is estimated at 5.73 tons per hectare, 8 percent above last year’s crop, and just under the record yield of 5.77 t/ha obtained in MY 2018/19.
Harvest continues with a delay for the first-season crop, 64 percent complete versus 68 percent last year. Reported production is estimated at 27.2 mmt on area of 4.4 mha according to the Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB). Meanwhile, two thirds of the second-season crop is now in the critical pollination and grain-filling crop stages. The satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at this critical time period displays above average crop vigor in the second-season corn areas. The Instituto Mato-Grossense de Economia Agropecuária (IMEA) reports a record area in the state of Mato Grosso (7.4 mha). Mato Grosso accounts for roughly half of safrinha production. The second corn crop is harvested from June to September.

Brazil Soybeans: MY 2022/23 Bumper Crop Pushes Upwards
Brazil soybean production for marketing year (MY) 2022/23 is estimated at 155.0 million metric tons (mmt), higher by 1.0 mmt (1 percent) from last month, and higher by 24.5 mmt (19 percent) from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 43.7 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month and up 2.1 mha (5 percent) from last season. Yield is estimated at 3.55 tons per hectare (t/ha), about 1 percent above last month and up 13 percent from last year. USDA forecasts the MY 2023/24 soybean production at a record 163.0 mmt; planting for this crop will begin in October 2023.
Nationally, over 94 percent of the soybean crop has been harvested as of early May. The majority of the remaining crop is in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where 80 percent of the crop has been harvested compared to the five-year average of 90 percent (as reported by Technical Assistance and Rural Extension agency, EMATER-RS). Soybean yields in the state of Rio Grande do Sul suffered; forecasts were reduced over 38 percent from the start of the season. Meanwhile, sufficient rainfall over most of Brazil resulted in abundant production and record yields in several states. The top yield from the major producing states, based on data from Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB), is a record in Bahia (4.12 t/ha), followed by a record in Mato Grosso (3.76 t/ha). The Paraná Department of Agriculture (SEAB/DERAL) also reports a record yield in the state of 3.87 t/ha. In the northeast, most of the crop has been harvested also on a record area and reported record production in several states.

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