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USDA forecasts record global wheat production

The increase in global production supports higher consumption, increased trade and larger ending stocks.

Wheat Spike In Field Hans Pixabay com

USDA’s Economic Research Service's June Wheat Outlook report notes global wheat production is forecast at a record 800.2 million metric tons (MMT), up 10.4 MMT from the May forecast. 

The European Union is currently forecast as the top wheat producer at 140.5 MMT, up 1.5 MMT on favorable growing conditions in France, Hungary and Italy.

China and India are the second and third leading producers, with production in those countries largely unavailable to the global market.

  • China’s production forecast is unchanged at 140.0 MMT
  • India is raised 3.5 MMT to 113.5 MMT

Russia and Southern Ukraine received beneficial spring precipitation boosting yields.

  • Russia is forecast up 3.5 MMT to 85.0 MMT, down 7 MMT from last year’s record 92 MMT
  • Ukraine is up 1 MMT from the May forecast to 17.5 MMT

The increase in global production supports higher consumption, increased trade and larger ending stocks.     

U.S. wheat outlook

U.S. wheat production for the 2023/24 marketing year is forecast at 1,665 million bushels, up 6 million from the May estimate and less than 1% above the previous year.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provided its updated survey-based production forecast for the 2023/24 U.S. winter wheat crop in the June 9 Crop Production report, estimated at 1,136 million bushels.

Average winter wheat yield is estimated at 44.9 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushels from the May estimate, but down from 47.0 last year. Winter wheat area harvested is unchanged from the previous month at 25.3 million acres, up 8 percent from last year.     

  • Hard Red Winter (HRW) production is estimated at 525 million bushels, up 11 million from the May estimate, but still the lowest output since 1957/58. Persistent drought has resulted in both lower yields and higher abandonment this season although recent rains in some HRW states may have stabilized the crop, contributing to slightly higher or unchanged yields month-to-month.
  • Soft Red Winter (SRW) production for 2023/24 is estimated at 402 million bushels, down 4 million from the May estimate, but still up 19% from the previous year on higher area. SRW yield is estimated at 69.4 bushels per acre, down from 70.2 last year, but still above the recent 5-year average of 67.1.
  • White Winter production for 2023/24 is estimated down marginally to 209 million bushels. Soft White Winter wheat, which is primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest and represents the bulk of this category, is estimated down from last year on lower yields. Hard White Winter is slightly lower year over year.
  • Durum and Other Spring Wheat production in 2023/24 are collectively estimated at 529 million bushels, down 3% from the previous year. Durum production for Arizona was lowered fractionally in the June 9 USDA, NASS Crop Production report, while California Durum production was unchanged. Durum and Other Spring wheat production for the rest of the producing states is calculated based on the NASS Prospective Plantings area planted data, the 10-year averages for harvested-to-planted ratios for each state, and the long-term historical trend yields for each state.   

All-wheat exports unchanged

 All-wheat exports for 2022/23 are unchanged from the previous month at 775 million bushels.

U.S. prices remain mostly uncompetitive with other major global suppliers. The pace of new sales continues to be relatively slow, as reported in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) U.S. Export Sales. By-class adjustments have been made based on the pace of export sales and shipments.

HRW exports have been raised 5 million bushels to 225 million, while White is reduced 5 million bushels to 195 million. 2023/24 wheat exports are projected even lower at 725 million bushels, which would be the lowest since 1971/72.

U.S. wheat exports down 5%, imports up 29%

U.S. wheat exports for June 2022 through April 2023 reached 712 million bushels, down 5% from the same period last year.

Official U.S. wheat trade statistics for June through April are based on data from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census. The pace of exports in May appears to be similar to April, based on export sales data reported by USDA FAS.

  • U.S. wheat imports for 2022/23 are unchanged at 125 million, up from 95 million in 2021/22.
  • U.S. wheat imports for June 2022 through April 2023 totaled 112 million bushels, accounting for 90% of the marketing year projection.
  • Imports for these 11 months are up 29% from the same period last year. There are no changes to imports by class.
  • U.S. wheat imports for 2023/24 are unchanged at 135 million bushels.

The 2022/23 season-average farm price remains at a record $8.85/bushel.    

Read the full report here.

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