FAO is counting on slightly less wheat next season

08-03-2023 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

The World Food Organization FAO foresees a wheat production of 784 million tons in 2023-2024.

This amount is 10 million tons less than the latest estimate for the current season. The estimate of wheat production in the current season has been increased by almost 1 million tons to 794.6 million tons compared to the estimate at the beginning of February. This means that a record amount of wheat will be produced this year. Despite the lower figure, the expectation for the coming season is still the second highest ever.

Greater wheat production in US

In the United States, a harvest of 51 million tons is expected. This is the largest amount in 3 years. The larger wheat production in the US is mainly due to a strong expansion of the acreage of winter wheat. Drought is still a concern in the Central Plains, but more precipitation is expected elsewhere.

If the weather does not put a spanner in the works, a wheat production of 35 million tons is expected in Canada. The acreage will be above average in this country, because farmers have sown more because of the high prices.

Continuing drought in North Africa

A smaller harvest is expected in Europe. This is mainly due to less wheat in Russia and Ukraine. In the European Union, according to the FAO, a harvest of 136.5 million tons will be comparable to last year.

In North Africa there is a persistent drought, which means that wheat production in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is once again disappointing. In the past year, these countries already had to deal with lower yields due to a shortage of precipitation.

Wheat production in the current season is estimated at the beginning of March to be 16.6 million tons higher than in 2021-2022. The larger harvest comes in a market in which consumption increases by 6.5 million tons to 779.5 million tons. This ultimately results in an increasing stock that is estimated at the end of June at 305.7 million tons. This means that world stocks are 11.9 million tons larger than last season. Compared to the February estimate, the stock forecast has been increased by 0.3 million tons.

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John Ramaker Commodities market editor, Boerderij