USDA raises wheat carryover forecast 5 million bushels

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Feb. 10 forecast the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2015, at 692 million bushels, up 5 million bushels from the January projection and up 102 million bushels, or 17%, from 590 million bushels in 2014. The adjustment resulted from a lowering in the USDA’s wheat export forecast for 2014-15, which narrowly offset a reduced wheat import forecast for the current year.

The USDA lowered its forecast for 2014-15 wheat imports to 160 million bushels, down 20 million bushels from the January projection of 180 million bushels. The reduced import forecast meant the record for U.S. wheat imports would remain 169 million bushels, which was the import total for 2013-14. The USDA said its forecast was lowered because of the slower-than-expected pace of imports to date this year.

The USDA forecast the U.S. wheat supply in 2014-15 at 2.776 billion bushels, down 20 million bushels from the January projection and down 245 million bushels, or 8%, from 3.021 billion bushels in 2013-14. The USDA’s 2014 wheat production estimate was unchanged at 2.026 billion bushels, down 109 million bushels, or 5%, from 2.135 billion bushels in 2013, and the 2014-15 carry-in was estimated 590 million bushels, also unchanged.

The USDA forecast wheat exports in 2014-15 at 900 million bushels, down 25 million bushels from the January projection and down 276 million bushels, or 23%, from 1.176 billion bushels in 2013-14. The USDA said the reduction in the export forecast was made because of “increased competition from the European Union and the recent strengthening of the dollar, which makes U.S. exports less competitive.”

The USDA’s projection for domestic use of wheat in 2014-15 remained 1.184 billion bushels, down 71 million bushels, or 6%, from 1.255 billion bushels in 2013-14. The USDA projected 2014-15 food use of wheat at a record 960 million bushels, unchanged from the January forecast and up 8 million bushels from the previous year. Feed and residual use was forecast at 150 million bushels, unchanged from January but down 76 million bushels, or 34%, from 226 million bushels in 2013-14. Seed use of wheat was forecast at 74 million bushels, unchanged from January but down 3 million bushels from the previous year.

The USDA forecast the average farm price of wheat in 2014-15 at $5.85-$6.15 a bushel compared with the January projection of $5.90-$6.30 a bushel and with $6.87 a bushel in 2013-14 and $7.77 a bushel in 2012-13.

The USDA made several adjustments to its by-class forecasts.

The carryover of hard red winter wheat on June 1, 2015 was forecast at 268 million bushels, up 15 million bushels from the January projection and compared with 237 million bushels in 2014. The USDA raised its forecast for domestic use of hard red winter wheat in 2014-15 by 5 million bushels, to 433 million bushels, which compared with 426 million bushels in 2013-14. At the same time, the USDA lowered its forecast for hard red winter wheat exports in 2014-15 by 20 million bushels, to 285 million bushels, which compared with 446 million bushels in 2013-14.

The hard red spring wheat carryover was forecast at 190 million bushels, down 20 million bushels from the January projection and compared with 169 million bushels in 2014. The USDA lowered its forecast for hard red spring wheat imports to 70 million bushels, down 10 million bushels from the January projection and compared with a record 77 million bushels in 2013-14. At the same time, the USDA raised its hard red spring wheat export forecast by 10 million bushels, to 295 million bushels, which compared with 246 million bushels in 2013-14.

The USDA forecast the 2015 soft red winter wheat carryover at 180 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from the January projection as the export forecast for 2014-15 was lowered by 10 million bushels, to 145 million bushels.

The USDA’s projection for the 2015 white wheat carryover was unchanged at 33 million bushels, down 17 million bushels from 2014. All white wheat supply-and-demand forecasts for 2014-15 were unchanged from January.

The USDA forecast the 2015 durum carryover at 22 million bushels, unchanged from the January projection and unchanged from 2014. At the same time, the USDA lowered its forecast for durum imports in 2014-15 by 10 million bushels, to 55 million bushels. It also lowered its domestic durum usage forecast for 2014-15 by 5 million bushels, to 83 million bushels, and its export forecast by 5 million bushels, to 25 million bushels.



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