Ukrainian wheat production could fall by a third in 2016
The Ukrainian wheat harvest could fall by nearly a third in 2016, following drought this autumn and the poor condition of many crops heading into winter, according to the HGCA.
Market analyst with the HGCA Arthur Marshall said parts of Ukraine suffered their driest autumn in 50 years, leading to 14% of the intended winter wheat area not being sown.
Furthermore, he said the Agriculture Ministry reported that, as of October 29, a little under half of the planted area had not yet germinated and over a third of the planted area is rated weak and sparse according to UkrAgroConsult.
Marshall said around 95% of Ukrainian wheat production is winter wheat, making the condition of the crop important for total Ukrainian wheat output.
Daily minimum temperatures in Ukraine are now beginning to fall below 0 degrees, limiting further growth opportunities.
Winter conditions will be critical for weak wheat crops, while sufficient warmth and moisture in early spring will be critical for those crops that have not yet germinated.
“UkrAgroConsult forecast the 2016 Ukrainian wheat harvest at 19Mt, down from 27Mt in 2015.
“This is predicted to lead to a 33% drop in exportable supplies, to 10Mt. While it may not be too late for these crops to recover, Ukraine’s weather during winter and early spring will be an important factor to watch,” he said.