Rainfall and cold weather has delayed planting of grains and oilseeds in Canada, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S., threatening already-low global inventories, Oil World said in a report today.
In the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat, heavy rains through Midwest and Plains states have made fields too wet for planting, the researcher said. Rain in Canada has delayed seeding of spring wheat and canola, and cold, wet weather has kept farmers in Russia and Ukraine from seeding spring grains, according to Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World.
“The major threat is to be seen in planting delays caused by very wet fields and local flooding” in Canada, Oil World said. “In recent weeks the low temperatures have slowed melting of a comparatively thick snow cover on already saturated fields. There is the risk of considerable additional flooding in parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.”
About 13 percent of planned corn was sown in the U.S. as of May 1 versus 68 percent a year earlier, Department of Agriculture data show. About 3 percent of Russian grains were seeded as of April 21, about half of what was in the ground at the same time last year, according to Oil World. In Canada, canola and wheat seeding are behind the normal schedule.
“Much will depend on weather conditions in the next four weeks and how quickly fields dry out to allow farm machinery to enter and bring the seed into the ground,” Oil World said. “At the moment we are quite skeptical whether the planting intentions for canola and other crops can be accomplished.”
Record Food Prices
Corn futures have surged 98 percent in the past year, wheat is up 56 percent and soybeans have risen 41 percent on increased demand for raw materials. Food prices rose to a record in February on tightening supplies of grains, oilseeds and sugar, as well as firm demand for dairy products, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
In Russia, where the country’s worst drought in a half- century curbed wheat production last year, leading to an export ban that started in August, about 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres) were planted with spring grains, Oil World said. That’s down from 1.7 million hectares a year earlier. Rapeseed production is “better than last year” in Russia and Ukraine, according to the report.
Deterioration in the quality of the U.S. wheat crop also may curb usable supplies globally, the researcher said. Dry weather has hurt crops in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the largest producers of U.S. winter wheat.
About 41 percent of plants were rated poor or very poor compared with 7 percent a year earlier, USDA data show. In Oklahoma, 77 percent was rated poor or very poor, and in Texas, 74 percent earned the lowest ratings, the government said.
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