WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture lowered its forecasts for 2020-21 US and world wheat ending stocks in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued today.

The USDA forecast the US carryover of wheat on June 1, 2021 at 862 million bus, down 15 million bus from the November outlook and down 16% from 1,028 million bus in 2020. The lower forecast reflected a 5-million-bu reduction in the forecast for wheat imports in 2020-21 to 120 million bus and a 10-million-bu increase in projected exports to 985 million bus.

The USDA said the higher export projection reflected stronger white wheat exports that were only partially offset by lower hard red winter wheat exports.

“Sales and shipments of white wheat have been robust this marketing year to several East Asian countries,” the USDA said. “Conversely, hard red winter exports have slowed for the past several weeks.”

With the exception of the lower import forecast, which reduced the projection for the total 2020-21 wheat supply to 2,974 million bus versus 2,979 million bus in November, the supply side of the wheat balance sheet was unchanged with a carry-in of 1,080 million bus and a crop estimate at 1,826 million bus.

With the exception of the higher export forecast, which raised the projection for total wheat disappearance in 2020-21 to 2,112 million bus versus 2,102 million bus as the November number, the demand side of the balance sheet was unchanged with food use of wheat in 2020-21 forecast at 965 million bus, seed use at 62 million bus and feed and residual use at 100 million bus.

The USDA projected 2020-21 world wheat ending stocks at a record 316.5 million tonnes, down 3.95 million tonnes from the November forecast but up 15.88 million tonnes, or 5%, from 300.62 million tonnes in 2019-20, the current record.

The USDA forecast world wheat production in 2020-21 at a record 773.66 million tonnes, up 1.28 million tonnes from November and up 9.16 million tonnes from 764.5 million tonnes in 2019-20. Most of the production increase was because of a larger forecast for Australia, now at 30.5 million tonnes, up 1.5 million tonnes from November. Russian production was raised 500,000 tonnes to 84 million, and Canadian production was raised 0.2 million tonnes to 35.2 million.

“With this month’s production changes, Australia, Canada and Russia all have their second-largest wheat production on record,” the USDA observed.

World wheat consumption in 2020-21 was forecast at a record 757.78 million tonnes, up 5.1 million tonnes from November and up 9.8 million tonnes from 747.98 million tonnes in 2019-20. The increase from November was mostly attributed to higher wheat feeding in China.

World wheat exports in 2020-21 was projected at a record 193.65 million tonnes, up 2.86 million from the November outlook and up 2.19 million tonnes from 191.46 million tonnes in 2019-20. Export forecasts were raised for Australia, Canada, Russia and the United States.

China was forecast to import 8.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2020-21, up 0.5 million tonnes from November. Chinese wheat imports would be the highest since 2008-09, the USDA said.