Bulgarian Wheat Yields Will Be 'Tragic' In 2009

The Bulgarian news agency Novinite says that this season's wheat yields in Bulgaria and Serbia will be "tragic", coming in at around 3.2 MT/hectare, more than 36% lower than last season's yields which were in excess of 5 MT/hectare.

The warm and dry weather this spring has left Bulgarian farmers worried about a very poor year for their corn and wheat crops, they say.

It's a similar story across pretty much the whole of Eastern European, as reported last week. Large areas of Romanian wheat and rye have been completely destroyed or badly damaged by drought the Agriculture Minister there is said to be on the verge of declaring a "calamity state".

Meanwhile Czech grain production is seen down at least 17% and "probably more" and in Ukraine "frosts in April, and drought in March and April have affected crops and the future harvest".

The grain harvest in Ukraine this coming season with produce 39.8 MMT, Ivasenko, analyst of АPК-Inform Agency told reporters last week. That's a decrease of 25.3% on last season's 53.3 MMT.

Hungary meanwhile has not had any significant rainfall since March, and the wheat crop there is seen down 28.5% from last season to just 4 MMT.

Things aren't quite as bad in Poland, although the national statistics office rate both winter and spring wheat crop conditions inferior to last year, on a combination of lack of rainfall and cold night-time temperatures. Winter wheat is rated 3.7 out of 5, compared to 3.9 in 2008, and private estimates are for a crop 5-10% down on last year's 9.3 MMT.