EU Black Sea wheat production on the edge of 18.5m mt record

Romania and Bulgaria are expected to harvest a record wheat crop in the 2021/22 marketing year after both countries...

Romania and Bulgaria are expected to harvest a record wheat crop in the 2021/22 marketing year after both countries received abundant rainfall after last year’s drought, trade sources told Agricensus.

The Romanian wheat crop is expected to reach at least 11 million mt, given planted area estimates of around 2-2.2 million ha and an estimated increase in yields from last year’s drought-hit 3 mt/ha to 5 mt/ha.

“11 million mt would be a record for wheat,” Thomas Deevy, risk manager for Cerealcom Dolj, told Agricensus, with the production expected to broadly fall into around 80% milling wheat, with protein between 11.5-12%, and the rest feed wheat.

According to sources, around 80% of the Romanian harvest is already complete, but no official data is currently available.

Bulgaria, where the harvest is also almost finished, is also on its way to posting record wheat production, but sources in the market expect a much bigger portion of the output to fall into feed wheat grades this marketing year, after heavy and prolonged rains.

“We will have record crop – like 7.5 million mt,” Petar Dimitrov, senior broker and founder of Agricore said.

“Quality, of course, is predominantly feed, as you can imagine,” Dimitrov told Agricensus, referring to a yield expectation of 6.5-6.8 mt/ha, as the average, versus the expected 5.5 mt/ha in Romania.

It is still unclear what the distribution between 12.5% and feed wheat will be, but trade sources say it is already very hard to find high protein grades in Bulgaria.

The official estimates from the European Commission for the two countries are much lower than on-the-ground reports, with the bloc’s central governing body putting Romanian wheat output at 9.76 million mt, up 52% year-on-year based on the 2.2 million ha planted area.

Bulgarian wheat production is forecasted at 6 million mt, 28% up year-on-year, and planted area estimated at 1.19 million ha.

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