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Commodity Intelligence Report
June 14, 2006

China Wheat Update - June 2006

USDA's June estimate for China's 2006/07 wheat crop is 97.5 million tons, unchanged from last month and slightly higher than last year’s revised crop of 97.45 million tons.  Winter wheat production is forecast at 92.0 million tons, unchanged from last year.  Total wheat area was revised upward this month to 23.1 million hectares based on information from Chinese government sources.  The weather in May was generally favorable for winter wheat development across the North China Plain.  Timely showers at the end of the month brought needed moisture to the Yellow River basin, where the reproducing/filling crop had been stressed by spring drought.  Meanwhile, near-normal rainfall and temperatures in May benefited the filling/maturing crop in the Yangtze and Huai river basins. 

The weather in June has been mostly clear and very warm (85-95 F), nearly ideal for winter wheat maturing and harvesting.  The Ministry of Agriculture reported that the harvest began in late May and was 25 percent complete as of May 31.  By June 5, the harvest was essentially finished in Hubei and Anhui and rapidly advancing northward.  The latest report from Henan said the crop was about 99 percent harvested as of June 11, about 3 days sooner than average.  Local officials in Henan, Anhui, Shanxi, and Shaanxi are projecting higher yields than last year, and crop conditions in Shandong and Hebei are described as good.  Harvesting has started in the northern and western wheat provinces (Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Xinjiang and Gansu), where rough spring weather (serious drought, sharp temperature swings, and sandstorms) may have hurt yield prospects. The winter wheat harvest nationwide will be complete by the end of June. 

The spring wheat crop is grown in Northeast and Northwest China, particularly in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia.  Although planted area is expected to increase slightly in 2006/07, nearly all spring wheat areas in the Northeast suffered from drought during planting in April and May.  Soil moisture was very short, water levels in rivers and reservoirs were below normal, and local sources reported planting delays and uneven emergence.  However, the timely arrival of widespread moderate to heavy rain in June is expected to benefit spring wheat emergence and development across the region.

Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on PECAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

For more information contact Paulette Sandene | | (202) 690-0133

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