Weekly Product Updates

W16 Wheat Update: Australia's Wheat Exports Declined in Feb-24, Argentina and Russia Face Harvest Challenges

Published Apr 23, 2024
In W16 in the wheat landscape, Australia's wheat exports in Feb-24 declined by 12% MoM to 2.31 mmt and fell by 24% YoY from Feb-23. Kazakhstan banned wheat imports from EAEU member states by road, water, and rail, effective for six months starting April 12, 2024. The USDA raised Ukraine's wheat export forecast for the 2023/24 season to 16.5 mmt and adjusted global wheat production and export forecasts. Argentina's wheat cultivation area for the 2024/25 season is projected to decrease due to delayed El Niño conditions. Lastly, Russia reduced its 2024 wheat harvest forecast to 93 mmt, attributing the adjustment to adverse weather conditions.

Australian Wheat Exports Declined in Feb-24

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia exported 2.31 million metric tons (mmt) of wheat in Feb-24, a 12% month-on-month (MoM) decrease from Jan-24's 2.62 mmt and a 24% year-on-year (YoY) decrease from Feb-23 (3.04 mmt). Grain exports in containers were primarily sent to Indonesia, Thailand, while bulk shipments went to China, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines. Additionally, Australia sent 92.35 thousand metric tons (mt) of durum wheat to Algeria in Feb-24, the largest volume since Oct-23.

USDA Raised Ukraine's Wheat Export Forecast for 2023/24 Season

In its Apr-24 report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased Ukraine's wheat export forecast for the 2023/24 season by 1.5 mmt to 16.5 mmt. This adjustment was accompanied by reductions in carry-over stocks at the end of the season, domestic consumption, and carry-over stocks at the beginning of the year. The forecast for Ukrainian corn exports remained unchanged at 24.5 mmt, while the overall forecast for Ukrainian feed grains increased slightly to 26.97 mmt. Globally, the wheat harvest forecast for the 2023/24 season rose by 0.66 mmt to 787.36 mmt, with the export forecast increasing by 1.34 mmt to 213.47 mmt. However, the global wheat forecast ending stocks was revised downward by 0.56 mmt to 258.27 mmt.

Kazakhstan Implements Ban on Wheat Imports from EAEU Member States

Kazakhstan has implemented a ban on wheat imports from Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states by road, water, and rail, effective from April 12, 2024, for a period of six months, according to Order No. 125 signed by the Minister of Agriculture. The ban exempts transit transportation of wheat by rail and imports for flour mills and poultry enterprises, with imported wheat not eligible for sale domestically or internationally. This ban follows a similar restriction imposed in Apr-23 due to concerns over the influx of smuggled Russian wheat, leading to significant economic losses and subsequent extensions in Oct-23, which also included a ban on rail imports except for specific entities.

Argentina's Wheat Cultivation Area Forecasted to Decline in 2024/25 Season

Analysts project a decrease in Argentina's wheat cultivation area to 5.9 million hectares (ha) for the 2024/25 season, marking a 6.9% decline compared to the average of the last five years. Concerns arise from the delayed onset of the El Niño phenomenon, leading to heavy rains in Mar-24 and Apr-24 across all agricultural regions, potentially prompting farmers to focus on planting in the western. Despite ample precipitation, the risk of future drought conditions could hamper the timely planting of wheat, which is expected to commence shortly.

Russia's 2024 Wheat Harvest Forecast Revised Downward

Russia's wheat harvest forecast estimates for 2024 were reduced by 1 mmt to 93 mmt. This marks the first forecast cut for the season, driven by a decrease in the winter wheat harvest projection to 67.3 mmt while maintaining the spring wheat estimate at 25.7 mmt. The adjustment is due to a slight drop in the average yield from 4.12 mt/ha to 4.06 mt/ha, influenced by reduced precipitation and higher temperatures in some southern regions, adversely impacting grain growing conditions. Significant rainfall is deemed necessary by mid-May to mitigate potential major yield losses in critical production and export areas.

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