U.S. wheat carryover raised from February

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its March 11 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates raised projected U.S. 2009 wheat carryover from February, reduced carryover projections for U.S. corn and soybeans and raised global carryover forecasts for wheat, corn, soybeans and rice.

U.S. wheat carryover on June 1, 2009, was projected at 712 million bus, up 57 million bus, or 9%, from 655 million bus in February and up 406 million bus, or 133%, from 306 million bus in 2008.

Total wheat supply in 2008-09 was projected at 2,925 million bus, up 10 million bus from February and up 305 million bus, or 12%, from 2,620 million bus in 2007-08. Estimated wheat production was unchanged at 2,500 million bus, but up 449 million bus, or 22%, from 2,051 million bus in 2007. Imports were projected at 120 million bus in 2008-09, up 10 million bus from February and up 7 million bus from 2007-08.

Domestic wheat use in 2008-09 was projected at 1,233 million bus, down 27 million bus from February but up 183 million bus, or 17%, from 2007-08. Food use of wheat was projected at 925 million bus, down 25 million bus from February and down 22 million bus from 2007-08. Seed use was projected at 78 million bus, down 2 million bus from February and down 10 million bus from 2007-08. Feed and residual use was projected at 230 million bus, unchanged from February and compared with 15 million bus in 2007-08.

U.S. wheat exports in 2008-09 were projected at 980 million bus, down 20 million bus from February and down 284 million bus, or 22%, from 1,264 million bus in 2007-08.

The average farm price of wheat in 2008-09 was forecast to fall within a range of $6.70@$6.90 a bu, unchanged from February and compared with $6.48 in 2007-08 and $4.26 in 2006-07.

U.S. wheat by class carryover was raised from February for all classes except white wheat, which was projected at 62 million bus, down 12 million bus, or 16%, from last month but was up 25 million bus, or 68%, from 2008.

June 1, 2009, carryover of hard winter wheat was projected at 278 million bus, up 30 million bus, or 12%, from February and up 140 million bus, or 101%, from last year. Hard spring wheat carryover was projected at 182 million bus, up 22 million bus, or 14%, from February and up 114 million bus, or 168%, from 2008. Soft red winter wheat carryover was projected at 158 million bus in 2009, up 5 million bus from February and up 103 million bus, or 187% from a year earlier. Carryover of durum was projected at 33 million bus, up 12 million bus, or 57%, from the February forecast and up 25 million bus, or 313%, from 8 million bus in 2008.

Global 2008-09 wheat production was projected at a record high 684.43 million tonnes, up 1.65 million tonnes from February and up 12% from 610.98 million tonnes in 2007-08. The production increase was mainly due a 1.4-million-tonne increase for Australia. Ending stocks were projected at 155.85 million tonnes, up 5.89 million tonnes from February, up 30% from 120.14 million tonnes in 2007-08 and a six-year high.

U.S. corn carryover on Sept. 1, 2009, was projected at 1,740 million bus, down 50 million bus, or 3%, from 1,790 million bus in February but up 116 million bus, or 7%, from 1,624 million bus in 2008. Total U.S. corn supply in 2008-09 was projected at 13,740 million bus, unchanged from February but down 622 million bus, or 4%, from 14,362 million bus a year earlier.

Total corn use in 2008-09 was projected at 12,000 million bus, up 50 million bus from February but down 737 million bus, or 6%, from 12,737 million bus a year earlier. Domestic corn use was projected at 10,300 million bus in 2008-09, up 100 million bus from February but down 2 million bus from 2007-08. Feed and residual use was projected at 5,300 million bus, unchanged from February but down 638 million bus from last year. Food and seed use was unchanged from February at 1,300 million bus, down 37 million bus from 1,337 million bus in 2007-08. The U.S.D.A. raised projected corn use to make ethanol by 100 million bus from February, to 3,700 million bus, which was up 674 million bus, or 22%, above 3,026 million bus in 2007-08.

"Blender margins have become increasingly favorable since late February as gasoline prices have risen relative to those for ethanol," the U.S.D.A. said. "A continuing recovery in weekly production of gasoline blends with ethanol is also supportive of ethanol demand as are the latest data on ethanol production, imports and stocks which indicate record use in December."

U.S. corn exports were projected at 1,700 million bus, down 50 million bus from February, on lower sales and shipments to date and pressure from increased foreign supplies of corn and wheat, the U.S.D.A. said. The number was down 736 million bus, or 30%, from exports of 2,436 million bus in 2007-08.

The average corn price was projected to range from $3.90@4.30 a bu in 2008-09, up from $3.65@4.15 projected in February and compared with $4.20 last year.

World 2008-09 corn production was projected at 787.10 million tonnes, up 0.63 million tonnes from February and down 5.87 million tonnes from 2007-08. Global corn import, export and consumption projections were reduced from February. Ending stocks were projected at 144.62 million tonnes, up 7.96 million tonnes from February and up 14.66 million tonnes, or 11%, from 2007-08.

Projected carryover of U.S. soybeans on Sept. 1, 2009, was 185 million bus, down 25 million bus, or 12%, from February and down 20 million bus from 2008. Total supply was projected at 3,173 million bus, unchanged from February but down 88 million bus, or 3%, from 3,261 million bus a year earlier.

Total use was projected at 2,988 million bus, up 25 million bus from February but down 68 million bus from 3,056 million bus in 2007-08. U.S. crushings were projected at 1,640 million bus, down 10 million bus from February and down 161 million bus from a year earlier. Projected exports were increased by 35 million bus from February, to 1,185 million bus, and were 24 million bus above a year ago.

The average farm price of soybeans was projected to range from $8.85@9.85 a bu in 2008-09, compared with $8.75@9.75 projected in February and $10.10 in 2007-08.

Global 2008-09 soybean production was projected at 233.27 million tonnes, down 0.88 million tonnes from February but up 2.39 million tonnes from 2007-08. Ending stocks were projected at 49.95 million tonnes, up 80,000 tonnes from February but down 3.24 million tonnes from 2007-08.

Global rice production was projected at a record 440.95 million tonnes, up 1.21 million tonnes from February and up 8.82 million tonnes from 432.13 million tonnes a year earlier. World rice consumption was projected at a record 433.43 million tonnes, down 0.69 million tonnes from February but up 4.96 million tonnes from 2007-08. Ending stocks were projected at 86.07 million tonnes, up 1.47 million tonnes from February and up 7.52 million tonnes from 2007-08.

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