Wheat petite: China's wheat output set to drop sharply in wake of bad weather
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s wheat output could drop as much as 20 percent this crop year after bad weather hit fields in major growing areas, likely boosting imports by the world’s top producer and consumer of the grain, traders and an analyst said.
Increased Chinese demand for wheat cargoes could pile more upward pressure on international prices for the commodity, which have already soared nearly 15 percent since early April on worries over tight global supplies.
The festering trade spat between Washington and Beijing means that U.S. exporters would probably be unable to capitalize on increased Chinese demand for wheat, traders said, leaving other major growers such as Canada and Russia set to take advantage.
“Domestic wheat output will drop significantly from last year,” said Wang Wenfeng, an analyst with Zhuochuang, a consultancy in the eastern province of Shandong.
She said that came after drought hit crops in parts of the key producing provinces of Shandong and Hebei during the growing stage, while heavy rains damaged crops during harvest in May and June in Henan and Anhui provinces.
“Wheat prices have jumped very fast since the new harvest hit the market, which will probably push up imports of quality wheat this year,” Wang said.
Wheat prices in Shandong [W-EXWDZH-GEN] have climbed 5 percent in the past two weeks to around 2,390 yuan ($369.19) per ton.