Statistics Canada said last week that total Canadian wheat production will plummet to its lowest level since the last major drought in 1988. Severely dry weather in many growing regions of Canada during July and the beginning of August lowered yields significantly. Reportedly, some producers had already harvested their "sparse and withered grains" for forage or turned livestock onto their croplands to graze. Durum production will be down an amazing 45% from last year, with only 3.1 MMT compared to 5.6 MMT in 2000.

Total wheat production is down 20%, at 21.5 MMT.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics reduced Australia's wheat production estimate for 2001 to 20.1 MMT, down from their June projection of 21.7 MMT. Australia produced 21.2 million metric tons in 2000/01. ABARE did not reduce their projections for exports that much, coming in at 16.0 MMT, only 300,000 metric tons less than the last shipping year.

The Argentina crop is expected to be 1.5 MMT larger than last year, with all of the increase going to exports. USDA estimates that Argentina will export 18 MMT, up from 16.5 MMT last year. While their traditional customers in South America, and most particularly Chile and Peru, will feel the pressure to take more Argentina wheat, the U.S. wheat industry expects Argentina to try to expand to some nontraditional markets as well.

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