FAO forecasts dire wheat shortage in the Customs Union and Ukraine

Experts predict that Ukraine will only collect 14 million tonnes of wheat against 22.3 million tonnes in 2011. Kazakhstan will produce only 14.5 million tonnes against 22.7 million tonnes last year. FAO says that the drought in the Ukraine and the reduction in production have lead to the increase in export prices, both in Ukraine and in Russia. Over the past 4 months wheat prices in these two countries have risen by 13pc. For Russia, the FAO estimates wheat production to be 56.8 million tonnes (no significant change compared to 56.2 million tonnes in 2011). This forecast of a slight rise in production is based on the expansion of planting area for ??winter wheat in the context of high prices, as well as plenty of snow in most of the agricultural areas of the country. Production of feed grains (barley, maize and sorghum) in Ukraine in 2012 will recede to 32.9 million tonnes compared to 33.5 million tonnes last year. Production of feed grains in Russia will remain approximately at the level of last year of about 34.3 million tons. However, Russia forecasts are mercurial, forever changing because of the instability of the weather, particularly in 2010 when fires in the country destroyed about 40pc of forage crops. If the forecast of FAO becomes reality, it will lead to a significant shortage of fodder in Ukraine and especially in Kazakhstan.

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