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USDA boosts Russia, EU, Ukraine wheat output estimates for 2019-20

New Delhi — The US Department of Agriculture raised its estimate for Russia wheat production for 2019-20 (October-September) by 1.5 million mt to 74 million mt and that of the European Union by 1 million mt to 153 million mt on "updated harvest results."

The department also raised the wheat output estimate for Ukraine by 300,000 mt to 29 million mt in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demands Estimates report released Friday.

The latest estimate for Russian wheat production is lower than the S&P Global Platts Analytics estimate of 75.3 million mt for the same period. On the other hand, EU's production estimate by USDA is higher than Platts Analytics estimate of 151.7 million mt.

The increase in estimates in the three regions has offset fall in projections for US, Australia and Argentina, which are battling unfavorable weather conditions.

Australia's wheat production estimate for 2019-20 (October-September) has been lowered to 17.2 million mt from 18 million mt. This is the third straight month when the USDA has cut Australia's production estimate owing to further damage from the country's severe drought condition.

The USDA's latest estimate for Australian wheat is, however, higher than the National Australian Bank forecast of 15.5 million mt and Rabobank's 15.84 million mt. Unfavorable weather conditions in Argentina led USDA to cut its projection by 500,000 mt to 20 million mt. The country's central and southern regions have been facing dry weather conditions over the last two to three months, a critical period for the wheat crop.

However, the estimate is higher in comparison to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange projection of 18.8 million mt.

US wheat production estimate for 2019-20 (June-May) was lowered by 1.13 million mt to 52.26 million mt and the wheat ending stocks estimate was cut by 810,000 mt to 27.59 million mt from October levels because "significant acreage remained unharvested in early September."

Global ending stocks have been raised to 288.28 million mt from 287.80 million mt.

The net effect of the changes in the projections led the global production estimate for wheat to marginally rise to 765.55 million mt compared with 765.23 million mt estimated in October.

Global exports estimate for 2019-20 was raised by 1 million mt to 180.68 million mt led by increase of exports from Russia, Ukraine and EU.

Russia and Ukraine account for one-third of the wheat shipments by the top-eight wheat exporting countries, according to the USDA data. The two countries also account for a major portion of Black Sea wheat exports.

-- Shilpa Samant, shilpa.samant@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, newsdesk@spglobal.com