Friday, July 15, 2011

Winter Wheat Up 2.12 MMT

The National Bureau of Statistics reports that this year's winter wheat harvest was 110.79 million metric tons, up 2.12 mmt from last year. The average yield was 4902 kg/ha, up 77 kg or 1.6% from last year. Planted area increased 79,000 hectares, or about 0.3% (they don't report harvested area).

The increase in production is surprising given the panic-filled reports on the worst drought in 50 years last winter in wheat-producing areas. Production increased in the main winter wheat-growing areas of Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu by 1.53 mmt. The increase in wheat output is consistent with reports from the field during last month's harvest period.

Estimated spring wheat production in three northwestern provinces (Gansu, Ningxia, and Xinjiang) was down 750,000 mt due to decreases in both yield and area planted. Spring wheat estimates are preliminary since the spring wheat crop matures later.

Summer grain production rebounded in southwestern provinces (mainly Yunnan, Guizhou) which had been stricken by serious drought last year.

Total production of summer-harvested grains (chiefly wheat but also some other minor grains) is estimated at 126.27 mmt, up 3.12 mmt, or 2.5% from last year. Sixty percent of the increase in production occurred in the southwestern provinces.

These estimates are based on sample surveys in 17 provinces that account for 97% of summer grain output. Local survey teams conduct sample surveys of 200,000 farms in 4000 sample villages to estimate planted area. Yield is estimated by taking crop samples from 40,000 sample plots in 3000 villages. Estimates for the 8 other provinces are based on administrative reporting.

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