Global wheat output is estimated to rise by 3.4% to 676 million metric tons (mmt) in 2011 as high global prices led to an increase in the area under coverage in many countries, reports the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The production in 2011 would still be below the bumper harvests in 2008 and 2009, it adds on its website post.

Besides rises in area, FAO says productivity would increase in countries that were affected by drought in 2010. "Wheat plantings in many countries have increased or are expected to increase this year in response to strong prices, while yield recoveries are forecast in areas that were affected by drought in 2010, the Russian Federation in particular," the FAO statement says.

FAO says that in Asia, good 2011 wheat harvests are forecast in India and Pakistan. India's wheat production is estimated at an all-time high of 81.47 mmt, according to the second advance estimate released by the Indian government. "In China, the drought situation in the north plain has been eased by recent precipitation but the outlook for the wheat crop still remains uncertain," FAO points out. As the bulk of the world’s coarse grains and paddy crops are yet to be planted, it is, however, too early to forecast total cereal production for this year, FAO says.