U.S.D.A. lowers wheat ending stocks

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its projected 2006-07 ending stocks of wheat by 50 million bus, but increased soybeans by 20 million bus, corn by 125 million bus, and sugar by 57,000 tons in its April 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand report.

Wheat ending stocks on May 31, 2007, were projected at 422 million bus, down 50 million from the March projection and 149 million below 571 million in 2005-06. The U.S.D.A. projection was below analysts’ expectations of 449 million bus.

The decrease in ending stocks from March was due to a 25-million-bu increase in feed and residual use, to 170 million bus, and a 25-million-bu increase in exports, to 900 million bus, the U.S.D.A. said. Seed use was projected at 82 million bus, up 1 million from March and 4 million above last year. Unchanged from March were beginning stocks at 571 million bus, production at 1,812 million, imports at 115 million and total supply at 2,498 million. Food use was projected at 925 million bus, unchanged from March and 10 million bus above 2005-06. Total use was projected at 2,077 million bus, up 51 million from March but 78 million below 2,155 million in 2005-06. The average price of all wheat was unchanged from March at $4.20@4.30 per bu, and compared with $3.42 last year.

In the wheat-by-class breakdown, the U.S.D.A. projected endings stocks for hard winter wheat at 142 million bus, down 25 million from March and down 73 million from a year earlier. Hard spring ending stocks were projected at 124 million bus, down 10 million from March and 8 million below last year. Soft red winter stocks were reduced 11 million bus, to 89 million, and compared with 106 million in 2005-06. Durum ending stocks were projected at 21 million bus, down 5 million from the March projections and 19 million below a year ago. White wheat stocks were unchanged from March at 46 million bus, but down 32 million from a year ago.

Ending stocks of U.S. soybeans on Aug. 31, 2007, were projected at a record 615 million bus, up 20 million from March and 166 million above 449 million in 2005-06, reflecting reduced exports, crush and seed use only partly offset by higher residual use, the U.S.D.A. said. Average pre-report trade estimates were much lower at 586 million bus.

Domestic soybean crush in 2006-07 was projected at 1,765 million bus, down 15 million from the March projection but 26 million above 1,739 million in 2005-06. Exports were projected at 1,080 million bus, down 20 million from March but 133 million above last year. Seed use was projected at 83 million bus, down 4 million from March and 10 million below a year ago. Residual use was projected at 99 million bus, up 20 million from March. Total soybean supply was projected at 3,642 million bus, unchanged from March but up 320 million from a year ago. The projected average soybean price range was $6.10@6.50 per bus, unchanged from March and compared with $5.66 last year.

U.S. corn ending stocks on Aug. 31, 2007, were projected at 877 million bus, up 125 million from March based on a 125 million bus decrease in projected feed and residual use, to 5,850 million bus. Before the report analysts had expected ending stocks to average 826 million bus.

Unchanged from March were total corn supply at 12,512 million bus, food, seed and industrial use at 3,535 million, ethanol use at 2,150 million, and exports at 2,250 million. The projected average price range was narrowed to $3@3.20 per bu from $3@3.40 in March and compared with $2 in 2005-06.

Sugar ending stocks on Sept. 30, 2007, were projected at 1,743,000 tons, raw value, up 57,000 tons from March and 45,000 above a year ago as higher imports more than offset lower production, the U.S.D.A. said. Domestic sugar production was projected at 8,531,000 tons, down 58,000 tons from March but up 1,132,000 tons from 7,399,000 tons in 2005-06.

Total imports were projected at 2,034,000 tons, up 70,000 from March, "comprising the recently announced increase in specialty sugars (20,000 tons), increases under the re-export programs (100,000 tons), and lower tariff rate quota from Mexico (50,000 tons)," the U.S.D.A. said. Total use was projected at 10,520,000 tons, down 45,000 tons from March, due to a 150,000 ton drop in domestic food use partially offset by a 75,000 ton increase in exports and a 30,000 ton increase in deliveries to manufacturers of re-export products, the U.S.D.A. said.

The U.S.D.A. projected global wheat ending stocks at 121.21 million tonnes, down slightly from 121.23 million in March and down 26.67 million from last year. World oilseed ending stocks were projected at 67.42 million tonnes, up 3.43 million from March, based mostly on forecast record soybean projection in Brazil and Argentina, and up 4.15 million from 2005-06. World corn ending stocks were projected at 91.82 million tonnes, up 4.03 million from March but down 32.39 million from a year earlier.

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