More Grain Production Estimates Cut In Eastern Europe

Following with this mornings theme of having a look at what seem like diminishing crops prospects in Eastern Europe, here's a few more snippets for you:

Hungary has not had any significant rainfall since March, the state-run agricultural think-tank now says that the wheat crop there could fall to 4 MMT, down 28.5% from last season's 5.6 MMT.

Czech grain production has also been hit by drought. The Agrarian Chamber sees total grain production this season down at least 17% and "probably more", without putting a tonnage on projected wheat output specifically. A 17% fall in wheat production would give us a crop of 3.9 MMT from 4.7 MMT last year.

Bulgaria's National Grain Producers Union sees below average yields this year, with wheat production likely to fall around 20% to circa 3.5 MMT. Plantings were sharply lower after the EU Commission used satellite monitoring to reveal that land that some Bulgarian farmers were claiming set-aside for turned out to include sports stadiums, rubbish dumps and even graveyards! That put the blocks on huge tranches of farm aid destined for Bulgaria just when crops were due to be planted last autumn.

Low April rainfall may have been partially alleviated by improved precipitation in May "but it is too early to say" say the National Federation of Grain Producers in Poland. "The effects of the drought on the yields of summer grains are considerable in some regions," they added. Wheat production here may be down 5-10% this year according to local farmers, giving us a crop of around 8.6 MMT.

Ukraine has suffered similar problems. "Frosts in April, and drought in March and April have affected crops and the future harvest. But recent rains have improved the crops," First Deputy Agriculture Minister Yuri Luzan said. Wheat production seen 27% lower by the USDA to 19 MMT on a combination of reduced acreage and yields due to weather and decreased inputs.

Romania is on the verge of declaring a "calamity state" with almost a quarter of winter plantings destroyed or damaged by drought. A new official crop estimate will be made in early June.