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The Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Oct. 11 forecast 2012-13 world wheat ending stocks at 173 million tonnes, down 3.71 million tonnes from the September projection and down 25.17 million tonnes, or 13%, from 198.17 million tonnes in 2011-12. The world wheat inventory at the end of the current marketing year would be the smallest since 168 million tonnes at the end of 2008-09.

The U.S.D.A. forecast world wheat production in 2012-13 at 653.05 million tonnes, down 5.68 million tonnes from the September projection and down 42.64 million tonnes, or 6%, from a record 695.69 million tonnes in the previous year.

The U.S.D.A. in commentary accompanying the world wheat supply and demand estimates stated, “Production in Australia is lowered 3 million tonnes (to 23 million tonnes) as a continuation of dryness through September during critical flowering and grain fill stages has reduced yield potential for this year’s crop. Production for Russia is lowered 1 million tonnes (to 38 million tonnes compared with 56.23 million tonnes last year) reflecting the latest harvest reports that indicate lower yields and harvested area for spring wheat.” Crop estimates also were lowered for the European Union, Uruguay, Canada, Algeria and Kyrgyzstan, each down 0.3 million tonnes from the September forecasts.

World wheat consumption in 2012-13 was forecast at 678.22 million tonnes, down 2.44 million tonnes from the September projection and down 2% from a record 695.46 million tonnes in 2011-12. The U.S.D.A. said higher feed and residual use of wheat in the United States, Canada and the E.U. was offset by lower wheat feeding in Russia and lower food use in India.

World wheat exports in 2012-13 were forecast at 130.87 million tonnes, down 3.96 million tonnes from the September projection and down 16% from a record 156.52 million tonnes in 2011-12. The U.S.D.A. pointed to export forecast reductions for Australia (down 3 million tonnes, to 18 million tonnes) and the United States (down 1.36 million tonnes, to 31.3 million tonnes). There also were lower export forecasts for the E.U. and Canada.

Notable were higher export forecasts for India and Russia. Indian wheat exports in 2012-13 were forecast at 5.5 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from the September projection and compared with 0.85 million tonnes in 2011-12.

Despite a small crop, Russia was forecast to export 9 million tonnes of wheat in 2012-13, up 1 million tonnes from the September projection but down 58% from 21.63 million tonnes in 2011-12.