Record maize crop in Ukraine

Maize production in Ukraine is likely to reach a record 17-18m tonnes, according to the Ukrainian ministry of agriculture.

However, forecast wet weather this autumn could threaten quality of the crop, as there was insufficient capacity to dry it all, said a report by analyst Agritel.

In Russia, the ministry of agriculture had confirmed forecasts of an 85-90m tonne cereal crop.

So far farmers had cut about 48.5m tonnes – 55% of expected volume on 40% of sown areas.

“Remaining areas are mainly located in Siberia, where yields are half those than the South,” said the report.

“Moreover, yields should be worst than last year on poor weather conditions this summer.”

Aggressive export pricing by Russia and Ukraine was undercutting French wheat values by $15/t (£9t/t), it added.

“As the harvest slowly moves into full swing across mainland Europe, crop estimates are revised on an almost daily basis,” said David Sheppard, managing director at Gleadell Agriculture

“The latest German wheat crop is now projected at 22m tonnes, as late rain has damaged crops already weakened by a spring drought.

“France’s farm agency recently raised its wheat crop to 33.3m tonnes; also stressing the crop had reasonable quality for flour making.

“Crops in the Black sea region have seen a marked recovery from last year, and this week both the Ukraine and Kazakhstan has raised their 2011 grain crop forecast, to 46.26m tonnes and 18.9m tonnes, respectively.”

In America, corn crop ratings had stabilised but soyabean and spring wheat plantings had been slashed by 7m acres due to poor planting weather, he added.

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