USDA World Wheat Output Up 6.5MMT To 670.8MMT

USDA -- Global 2008/09 wheat production is projected at a record 670.8 million tons, up 6.5 million from last month and 60.2 million higher than last year. Increases for EU-27, India, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States more than offset reductions for Afghanistan and Argentina. EU-27 production is increased 1.5 million tons. India production is raised 1.6 million tons in line with government estimates. Production for Russia is raised 3.0 million tons reflecting increased harvested area and higher expected winter wheat yields as indicated by harvest results to date. Ukraine production is raised 1.0 million tons despite a small reduction in harvested area as a result of recent flooding in western growing areas. Harvest results indicate higher yields for winter wheat in Ukraine. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons each for Afghanistan and Argentina. Severe drought and lack of snow melt for irrigation have sharply reduced harvested area and yields in Afghanistan. In Argentina, continued dryness in central growing areas, as well as uncertainty about government export policies have reduced planted area.