WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Dec. 10 made only minor adjustments to its 2013-14 supply and demand forecasts for wheat. The USDA forecast the U.S. wheat carryover on June 1, 2014, at 575 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from the November projection but down 143 million bushels, or 20%, from 718 million bushels in 2013. The December forecast exceeded the average of pre-report trade projections at around 553 million bushels.

The USDA raised its carryover forecast in response to forecast heavier wheat imports from Canada. “Record production and higher exports for Canada are expected to add to wheat supplies in the United States,” the USDA said in commentary accompanying the supply-and-demand forecasts. “Imports are raised 5 million bushels for each hard red spring and soft red winter wheat.”

Wheat imports in 2013-14 were forecast at 160 million bushels, the highest in modern history (imports during World War II were larger). The increased import number raised the forecast wheat supply to 3.008 billion bushels, which still was down 123 million bushels, or 4%, from 3.131 billion bushels in 2012-13. The USDA’s wheat production estimate for 2013 was unchanged at 2.13 billion bushels.

All-wheat use forecasts for 2013-14 were left unchanged from November with food use at 950 million bushels, seed use at 73 million bushels, feed and residual use at 310 million bushels, and exports at 1.1 billion bushels.

The USDA commented, “Projected exports for all wheat are unchanged, but minor adjustments are made by class with soft red winter wheat exports raised 5 million bushels and hard red spring wheat exports lowered an offsetting amount.”

The USDA added, “The 2013-14 projected season-average farm price is lowered 10¢ at the midpoint with the range narrowed to $6.65-$7.15 (from $6.70-$7.30) as near record world supplies and increased export competition reduce price prospects for U.S. wheat.” The average farm price was $7.77 a bushel in 2012-13 and $7.24 in 2011-12.