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The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 9 raised its forecast of world wheat production to a record 688.97 million tonnes. The previous record global wheat outturn was 685.44 million tonnes in 2009-10. The new world production forecast took into consideration increased crop estimates issued by Canada and China and larger production forecasts by Australia, which expects to harvest a record crop, and Argentina.
On the basis of the larger crop forecast and an increase in the estimate for world wheat beginning stocks, the U.S.D.A. raised its forecast for 2011-12 world wheat ending stocks to 208.52 million tonnes, up 5.92 million tonnes from the November projection and up 8.77 million tonnes, or 4%, from 199.75 million tonnes in the previous year. The 2011-12 world wheat ending inventory would be the largest since the record 210.67 million tonnes in 1999-00 and the third largest on record (ending stocks in 1998-99 totaled 209.36 million tonnes).

World wheat con-sumption in 2011-12 was forecast at a record 680.2 million tonnes, up 3.37 million tonnes from the previous projection and up 26.23 million tonnes, or 4%, from 653.97 million tonnes in 2010-11, the current record disappearance.

World wheat exports in 2011-12 were projected at 138.69 million tonnes, up 6.79 million tonnes, or 5%, from 131.9 million tonnes in 2010-11. World wheat exports in the current year would be the second largest on record after 143.51 million tonnes in 2008-09.

The projected increased exportable supplies in Australia and Argentina were expected to take a further bite out of the U.S. share of the world wheat market (a resurgence in exports by states of the former Soviet Union already limited U.S. export prospects). The U.S.D.A. lowered its forecast for U.S. wheat exports in 2011-12 by 1.37 million tonnes (50 million bus), to 25.17 million tonnes (925 million bus).

Because of the lower U.S. export forecast, the U.S.D.A. raised its forecast for the carryover of wheat in the United States on June 1, 2012, by 50 million bus, to 878 million bus.

Statistics Canada on Dec. 6 estimated 2011 Canadian wheat production at 25,261,000 tonnes, up 1,101,000 tonnes, or 5%, from its previous forecast and up 2,094,000 tonnes, or 9%, from 23,167,000 tonnes in 2010. The recent five-year average outturn was 24,789,000 tonnes. The estimate was above the average of pre-report trade estimates.

Canadian spring wheat production was estimated at 18,031,000 tonnes, up 3% from 17,485,000 tonnes in 2010 and compared with 18,452,000 tonnes in 2009. Winter wheat production was estimated at 3,058,000 tonnes, up 15% from 2,657,000 tonnes in 2010 and compared with 2,996,000 tonnes in 2009.
Canadian durum production was estimated at 4,172,000 tonnes, up 38% from 3,025,000 tonnes in 2010 and compared with 5,400,000 tonnes in 2009.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on Dec. 6 forecast 2011-12 Australian wheat production at a record 28,286,000 tonnes, up 395,000 tonnes, or 1%, from the previous record of 27,891,000 tonnes harvested in 2010-11. ABARES forecast 2011-12 Australian wheat exports at a record 21,600,000 tonnes, up 2,961,000 tonnes, or 16%, from 18,639,000 tonnes in 2010-11. The current record outgo for Australian wheat was 19,225,000 tonnes in 1996-97.