Prospects for Black Sea grain output received a double whammy when Kazakhstan cut its harvest forecast to half 2011 levels, minutes after UkrAgroConsult lowered its estimate for Ukraine’s production.
Sagintai Zhumazhanov, a senior official at the Kazakhstan farm ministry, blamed a decline in rainfall for a cut to 14m tonnes, from 15m-16m tonnes, in the official forecast for the grains harvest.
The figure compares with a US Department of Agriculture estimate - up for revision in a monthly crop report tomorrow – that Kazakhstan will harvest 15m tonnes of wheat alone, plus a further 2m tonnes or so of barley.
And it falls well below the 27m-tonne result, for all grains, last year, a post-Soviet record, boosted by unusually benign weather.
“There has been less rainfall than last year. Therefore, the forecast crop yields are about half those we had last year,” Mr Zhumazhanov said.
‘Cut for silage’
The downgrade followed the reduction by UkrAgroConsult, the much-watched crop consultancy, to 43.4m tonnes, from 45.5m tonnes, in its estimate for the Ukraine grains harvest, representing a fall of some 14% year on year.
The forecast remains in line with that of Ukraine’s official Hydromet weather centre, and a little above that of rival consultancy ProAgro, which on Monday pegged the crop at 42.8m tonnes.
Read more at Agrimoney