WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – A reduction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) already anemic U.S. wheat export forecast for 2015-16 produced a 25-million-bushel hike in the department’s projection for the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2016, to 966 million bushels, which would be the largest carryover since 976 million bushels in 2010.
The USDA forecast U.S. wheat exports in 2015-16 at 775 million bushels, down 25 million bushels from the January projection and down 79 million bushels, or 9%, from 854 million bushels in 2014-15. The 2015-16 wheat outgo was forecast to be the lowest since 610 million bushels in 1971-72, the year before the 1972-73 U.S.-Soviet wheat deal that pushed U.S. wheat exports above 1 billion bushels for the first time in history.
The USDA said in commentary accompanying the updated supply-and-demand forecasts, “U.S. exports are lowered on increased international competition, especially from Canada.” In its 2015-16 world wheat supply-and-demand projections, the USDA raised its forecast for Canadian wheat exports to 22 million tonnes, up 1.5 million tonnes from the January projection, while lowering U.S. wheat exports to 21.09 million tonnes, down 0.68 million tonnes from the January outlook. Canada would supplant the U.S. as the world’s third-largest wheat exporter in 2015-16 following the E.U. and Russia.
All other U.S. all-wheat supply-and-demand forecasts for the current year were unchanged from January.
The U.S. wheat supply for 2015-16 was forecast at 2.92 billion bushels, up 158 million bushels, or 6%, from 2.76 billion bushels in 2014-15. The 2015 carryover was 752 million bushels, the 2015 crop was 2.052 billion bushels and wheat imports in 2015-16 were forecast at 120 million bushels.
On the demand side of the balance sheet, domestic demand was forecast unchanged from January at 1.183 billion bushels, up 24 million bushels from 2014-15, with food use of wheat at a record 967 million bushels (up 9 million bushels from 2014-15), feed use of wheat at 150 million bushels (up 28 million bushels) and seed use of wheat at 66 million bushels (down 13 million bushels).
Total wheat disappearance in 2015-16 was forecast at 1.958 billion bushels, down 25 million bushels from the January projection and down 56 million bushels, or 3%, from 2.014 million bushels in 2014-15.
The USDA’s 2016 carryover forecasts by class with adjustments from January included: hard red winter wheat at 429 million bushels, up 4 million from January on a 5-million-bushel cut to the 2015-16 export forecast to 220 million bushels; hard red spring wheat at 278 million bushels, up 10 million on a 10-million-bushel drop in forecast 2015-16 exports to 255 million bushels; soft red winter wheat at 170 million bushels, up 5 million bushels on a 5-million-bushel drop in the export forecast to 125 million bushels; white winter wheat at 55 million bushels, up 1 million bushels on a 1-million-bushel reduction in domestic use to 100 million bushels, and durum at 34 million bushels, up 5 million bushels on a 5-million-bushel reduction to the export forecast to 35 million bushels.