USDA makes no changes in forecasts

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 9 left unchanged its 2015-16 supply-and-demand balance sheets for all-wheat and corn while making only minor adjustments to its soybean supply-and-use forecasts. Given the lack of surprise, futures markets largely shrugged off the March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

The USDA forecast the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2016, at 966 million bushels, unchanged from the February projection and up 214 million bushels, or 28%, from 752 million bushels in 2015. If the forecast is realized, the 2016 wheat carryover would be the largest since 976 million bushels in 2010.

All supply-side forecasts for wheat in 2015-16 were unchanged with a carry-in of 752 million bushels, 2015 production at 2.052 billion bushels, up 26 million bushels from 2014, and 2015-16 imports at 120 million bushels, down 29 million bushels from 2014-15. All-wheat supply for 2015-16 was forecast at 2.924 billion bushels, up 6% from 2.766 billion bushels in 2014-15 but down 3% from 3.026 billion bushels in 2013-14.

Wheat disappearance in 2015-16 was forecast unchanged from February at 1.958 billion bushels, down 56 million bushels from 2014-15 and down 20% from 2.436 million bushels in 2013-14.

Food use of wheat in 2015-16 was forecast at a record 967 million bushels, up 9 million bushels from 2014-15. Seed use of wheat was forecast at 66 million bushels, down 13 million bushels from 2014-15. Feed and residual use of wheat in 2015-16 was forecast at 150 million bushels, up 28 million bushels from 2014-15 but down 34% from 228 million bushels in 2013-14.

The USDA forecast 2015-16 wheat exports at 775 million bushels, unchanged from the February projection, down 79 million bushels from 2014-15 and the lowest since 610 million bushels in 1971-72, the year before the U.S.-Soviet wheat deal that pushed U.S. wheat exports above 1 billion bus for the first time in history.

The only adjustments in supply-and-demand forecasts by class were in hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat exports. The USDA raised its forecast for hard red winter wheat exports in 2015-16 by 10 million bushels, to 230 million bushels, while lowering its forecast for hard red spring wheat exports by 10 million bushels, to 245 million bushels. As a result, the hard red winter wheat 2016 carryover was lowered 10 million bushels, to 419 million bushels, while the hard red spring wheat carryover was raised 10 million bushels, to 288 million bushels. There were no other changes in 2015-16 forecasts by wheat class. The 2016 forecast carryover of soft red winter wheat remained 170 million bushels; the white wheat carryover forecast remained 55 million bushels, and the durum carryover remained 34 million bushels.

The USDA’s forecast for the carryover of corn on Sept. 1, 2016, was unchanged from February at 1.837 billion bushels, up 6% from 1.731 billion bushels in 2015. It would be the largest corn carryover since 1.967 billion bushels in 2006. The USDA forecast the corn supply in 2015-16 at 15.382 billion bushels, down 97 million bushels from 2014-15. Domestic disappearance of corn in 2015-16 was forecast at 11.895 billion bushels (11.883 billion bushels in 2014-15) including feed and residual use at 5.3 billion bushels (5.324 billion bushels in 2014-15) and food, seed and industrial use at 6.595 billion bushels (6.560 billion bus). Included in the latter category was corn use for ethanol production, which was forecast at 5.225 billion bushels (5.2 billion bushels in 2014-15).

U.S. corn exports in 2015-16 were forecast at 1.65 billion bushels, down 11% from 1.864 billion bushels in 2014-15.

The USDA forecast the carryover of soybeans on Sept. 1, 2016, at 460 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from the February outlook and up 269 million bushels from 191 million bushels in 2015. If the forecast is realized, the 2016 soybean carryover would be the largest since 536 million bushels in 1986.

The USDA lowered its 2015 soybean production estimate by 1 million bushels, to a record 3.929 billion bushels. The 2015-16 soybean supply was forecast unchanged at 4.15 billion bushels. The 2015-16 soybean crush was forecast at 1.87 billion bus, down 10 million from the February projection and down 3 million bushels from 2014-15. Soybean exports in 2015-16 were forecast at 1.69 billion bushels, down 153 million bushels from 1.843 billion bushels in 2014-15.

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