Weekly Product Updates

W14 Wheat Update: EU Soft Wheat Harvest Expected to Decline in 2024/25 Season, Russia Eyes Increased Wheat Exports to South Africa

Published Apr 12, 2024
In W14 in the wheat landscape, The EC forecasted a 4% YoY decrease in the EU's soft wheat harvest for the 2024/25 season, reaching approximately 120.8 mmt, the lowest in four years, due to reduced acreage caused by heavy rains during sowing. Meanwhile, Russia exported 5.7 mmt of main grain types in Mar-24, with wheat exports declining by 15.7% YoY. In South Africa, wheat exports from Russia are expected to increase by 6% YoY to meet growing demand. The UK anticipates record wheat imports of 2 mmt for the 2023/24 season due to concerns about harvest quality amid persistently wet conditions. India forecasts a record wheat harvest of 112.5 mmt for 2024/25, with potential imports of 2 mmt due to strong domestic demand and lower government stocks. Finally, Egypt plans to purchase 3.5 mmt of domestically produced wheat for state reserves in 2024, lower than the 3.8 mmt purchased in 2023, following a government increase in purchase prices to incentivize farmers.

EC Forecasts Decline in EU Soft Wheat Harvest for 2024/25 Season

According to the European Commission (EC), the soft wheat harvest for the EU in the 2024/25 season is forecasted to decrease by 4% year-on-year (YoY) to approximately 120.8 million metric tons (mmt), the lowest in the past four years. This decline is due to reduced wheat acreage caused by heavy rains during the sowing period, particularly in France and Germany, with the estimated area decreasing to 20.95 million hectares (ha) from 21.75 million ha in the 2023/24 season. Despite this, the average grain yield is expected to remain steady at 6 metric tons (mt)/ha. EU soft wheat exports for 2024/25 are forecasted to reach 31 mmt, consistent with the season's expectations. Meanwhile, imports are projected to decrease to 4.4 mmt from the 7.5 mmt anticipated for the current season.

Russian Wheat Exports Declined 15.7% YoY in Mar-24

According to the Russian Grain Union's monitoring, Russia exported 5.7 mmt of main grain types in Mar-24, marking a 14.6% YoY decrease. Wheat exports declined by 15.7% YoY to 4.517 mmt. Since the start of the season on July 1, 2023, total grain exports have reached 51.4 mmt, including 42.2 mmt of wheat. With an export potential of 67 mmt for main grain types, it's projected that 15.6 mmt could be shipped in the remaining three months, with wheat accounting for 12.8 mmt of that potential.

Russia Expected to Boost Wheat Exports to South Africa Amid Rising Demand

Russia, one of South Africa's top three wheat suppliers, is poised to increase wheat exports to meet growing demand amid declining yields. Experts anticipate a 6% YoY increase in wheat and its product supplies to South Africa in the 2023/24 season, with similar volumes expected in the following season. Despite South Africa not being a leading importer of grain crops, with total imports not exceeding 4 mmt annually, recent statistics show significant imports, including 2 mmt of wheat and 1.2 million tonnes of rice in the last calendar year, according to Statistics South Africa.

UK Wheat Imports Expected to Hit Record High in 2023/24 Season

The United Kingdom (UK) wheat imports are projected to reach a record level of 2 mmt in the 2023/24 season, according to a report by the British Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). This forecast, 250 thousand mt higher than Jan-24's estimate, reflects concerns about 2023's grain harvest quality and ongoing worries about this year's harvest due to persistently wet conditions. The wet winter has adversely affected winter crops, particularly in areas like east London, Nottinghamshire, and Gloucestershire, with most crops reported to be in poor condition as of March 26.

India Anticipates Record Wheat Harvest for 2024/25 Season

According to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (FAS USDA), India is predicted to achieve a record wheat harvest of 112.5 million metric tons (mmt) in the 2024/25 season. This growth is due to timely sowing, expanded areas, and favorable weather conditions. Despite the record harvest, India may increase wheat imports to 2 million tonnes due to strong domestic demand, lower government stocks, and relatively low global prices, compared to 120 thousand mt of imports and 300 thousand mt of exports last season.

Egypt to Purchase 3.5 MMT of Wheat for State Reserves in 2024

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Supplies and Internal Trade, in 2024, the government plans to purchase 3.5 mmt of domestically produced wheat for state reserves, less than the 3.8 mmt purchased in 2023. Moreover, in Nov-23, the government raised the purchase price of local wheat to USD 33.7 per 150 kilogram (kg) to incentivize farmers to sell.

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