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The U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 9 forecast 2011-12 world wheat ending stocks at 184.26 million tonnes, up 3 million tonnes from the May projection but down 2.86 million tonnes, or 2%, from 187.12 million tonnes in 2010-11 and down 7% from the recent high ending stocks of 198.29 million tonnes in 2009-10.

The 2010-11 world wheat carry-in of 187.12 million tonnes was up 4.92 million tonnes from the May forecast. The hike in the carry-in estimate was mostly due to adjustments to Russian stocks estimates.

World wheat production in 2011-12 was projected at 664.34 million tonnes, down 5.21 million tonnes from the May forecast but up 16.13 million tonnes, or 2%, from 648.21 million tonnes in 2010-11 and compared with the record outturn of 684.25 million tonnes in 2009-10. It would be the world’s third-largest wheat crop.

The U.S.D.A. projected European Union-27 wheat production at 131.50 million tonnes, down 7.2 million tonnes from the May forecast. The department lowered its projection for the Canadian crop by 1 million tonnes, to 25 million. These reductions more than offset higher forecasts for the Argentina, Australia, Pakistan and U.S. crops.

The U.S.D.A. said in commentary accompanying the estimates, “Persistent dryness, particularly in France but also in Germany, the United Kingdom and western Poland, has reduced yield prospects for the E.U.-27. Production is also reduced 1 million tonnes in Canada as flooding and excessive rainfall, particularly in eastern Saskatchewan and adjoining areas of Manitoba, are expected to reduce spring wheat seeding. Production is increased 1.5 million tonnes for Argentina and 0.5 million tonnes for Australia, both reflecting favorable planting conditions and strong producer price incentives to expand area.”

The Russian crop was projected at 53 million tonnes, unchanged from May but up 11.49 million tonnes, or 28%, from the drought-ravaged 2010 crop. The China crop, forecast at 115.5 million tonnes, would rank as the nation’s second-largest. China’s record crop was harvested in 1997 at 123.3 million tonnes.

World wheat consumption in 2011-12 was projected at a record 667.19 million tonnes, down 3.4 million tonnes from the May forecast but up 7.8 million tonnes, or 1%, from use of 659.38 million tonnes in 2010-11, the previous record. The U.S.D.A. indicated the reduction in the use forecast was attributed mostly to a reduction in E.U. feed use.

World wheat exports in 2011-12 were projected at 127.59 million tonnes, up 0.25 million tonnes from the May forecast, up 0.94 million tonnes, or 1%, from 126.4 million tonnes in 2010-11 and compared with 135.85 million tonnes in 2009-10. World wheat exports were record high in 2008-09 at 145.51 million tonnes. Increases in the export projections for Argentina and Australia, up 1 million tonnes and 2 million tonnes, respectively, offset a 3-million-tonne reduction in the E.U. export forecast.

Russian wheat exports in 2011-12 were projected at 10 million tonnes, unchanged from the May forecast, up 6 million tonnes from the previous year but down from a record 18.56 million tonnes in 2009-10.