Wheat Market: USDA Decreases World Production on Dry Conditions

USDA raised 2018/19 U.S. wheat production to 51.2 million metric tons (MMT), up 8 percent from 2017/18, if realized. Along with the increase, USDA also released its first U.S. by-class forecast for U.S. wheat.

Increases in hard red spring (HRS), soft red winter (SRW) and soft white (SW) wheat are expected to more than offset a 12 percent year over year reduction in hard red winter (HRW). U.S. spring wheat production is expected to increase to 15.9 MMT, up 52 percent from the previous year when drought shriveled the crop.

But while wheat production is expected to increase in the United States, it is expected to fall globally in 2018/19. USDA forecast 2018/19 total world wheat production at 736 MMT, down 3 percent from the year prior, if realized. The largest decrease is expected in Russia, which is forecast to produce 67.0 MMT, down 18.0 MMT from 2017/18 due to poor growing conditions.

Wheat production is also expected to fall in the European Union (EU) and Australia due to dry conditions.

While 2018/19 world wheat production is expected to fall for the first time in 5 years, world wheat consumption is expected to grow 5.23 MMT from the previous year to 749 MMT. If realized, world wheat consumption will outpace world wheat production by 12.6 MMT in 2018/19.

With consumption outpacing production, world wheat ending stocks are expected to fall to 261 MMT, down 5 percent from 2017/18. The reduction in ending stocks puts the 2018/19 global stocks-to-use ratio (excluding China) just under 20 percent, which is the lowest level since 2007/08.

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