WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Oct. 9 lowered its forecast for the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2016, to 861 million bushels, down 14 million bushels from the September projection but up 108 million bushels, or 14%, from 753 million bushels in 2015. The wheat carryover forecast was lowered as decreased production more than offset a forecast decline in total use.
The wheat production estimates were unchanged from those published on Sept. 30 in the USDA’s Small Grains 2015 Summary. All-wheat production was estimated at 2.052 billion, down 84 million bushels from the September projection but up 26 million bushels from 2014. The USDA forecast wheat imports in 2015-16 at 125 million bushels, unchanged from the September outlook and down 24 million bushels from 149 million bushels in 2014-15. The all-wheat supply for 2015-16 was forecast at 2.930 billion bushels, down 84 million bushels from the September forecast but up 164 million bushels, or 6%, from 2.766 million bushels in 2014-15.
Domestic use of wheat in 2015-16 was forecast at 1.219 billion bushels, down 20 million bushels from the September projection but up 60 million bushels, or 5%, from 1.159 billion bushels in 2014-15. The lower domestic use forecast was tied to a lower forecast for feed and residual use as food use of wheat and seed use forecasts were unchanged. The USDA forecast feed and residual use of wheat at 180 million bushels, down 20 million bushels from the September projection but up 60 million bushels, or 50%, from 120 million bushels in 2014-15. The USDA commented, “Feed and residual use is lowered 20 million bus, reflecting Sept. 1 stocks that indicated lower-than-expected June-August disappearance.”
The forecast for food use of wheat was unchanged from September at a record 967 million bushels, up 9 million bushels from 958 million bushels in 2014-15, the current record. Seed use of wheat was forecast at 72 million bushels, which was down 9 million bushels from 2014-15.
The USDA forecast U.S. wheat exports in 2015-16 at 850 million bushels, down 50 million bushels from the September projection, down 4 million bushels from 854 million bushels in 2014-15 and the lowest since 850 million bushels in 2002-03. The USDA said, “Exports are lowered 50 million bushels to 850 million on a slow sales pace to date and continued lack of U.S. price competitiveness, particularly compared with Black Sea countries and the European Union.”
The projected range for the 2015-16 season average farm price of wheat was narrowed 10¢ on both the high and low ends to $4.75-$5.25 a bushels.
The USDA forecast the 2016 hard red winter wheat carryover at 401 million bushels, up 27 million bushels from September and compared with 295 million bushels in 2015. The hard red spring wheat carryover was forecast at 239 million bushels, up 2 million from September and compared with 212 million bushels in 2015. The USDA forecast the soft red winter wheat carryover at 142 million bushels, down 29 million bushels from September and down 12 million bushels from 2015. The white wheat carryover was projected at 49 million bushels, down 19 million bushels from the September outlook and down 18 million bushels from 2015. The durum carryover was forecast at 30 million bushels, up 5 million bushels from September and up 4 million bushels from 2015.