WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — In the first forecast for the 2016-17 marketing year, the carryover of U.S. wheat on June 1, 2017, was projected at 1.029 billion bushels, up 51 million bushels, or 5%, from the current year estimate of 978 million bushels, which was up 2 million bushels from the April forecast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its May 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

If realized, the 2017 wheat carryover will be the largest since the 1987-88 crop year, the USDA said.

The USDA 2017 all-wheat carryover number was 3% above the average trade expectation of 997 million bushels, while the 2016 carryover was slightly below the trade average of 981 million bushels.

Total wheat supply in 2016-17 was projected at 3.106 billion bushels, up 182 million bushels, or 6%, from 2.924 billion bushels in 2015-16. The USDA projected 2016 U.S. all-wheat production at 1.998 billion bushels, down 54 million bushels, or 3%, from 2.052 billion bushels in 2015, as a 9% reduction in harvested area, projected at 42.8 million acres, more than offset a 7% increase in average yield, projected at 46.7 bushels per acre.

“The survey-based forecast for 2016-17 winter wheat production is up with higher yields more than offsetting reduced harvested area,” the USDA said. “Winter wheat has benefited from excellent spring growing conditions and yields are projected higher. Spring wheat and durum production for 2016-17 is projected to decline 16% on lower area, as well as a return to trend yield, which is below last year’s level.”

Total 2016-17 wheat use was projected at 2.077 billion bushels, up 131 million bushels, or 7%, from 1.946 billion bushels in 2015-16 based on domestic use of 1.202 billion bushels, up 36 million bushels, or 3%, from 1.166 billion bushels this year and exports of 875 million bushels, up 95 million bushels, or 12%, from 780 million bushels in 2015-16, which were raised 5 million bushels from April.

Even though the 2016-17 export forecast is up from the prior year, it still is well below average as “large supplies in several major competing countries will continue to limit U.S. exports,” the USDA said.

The initial all-wheat average price for 2016-17 was projected at $3.70@4.50 a bushel, compared with $4.90 a bushel estimated for the current year and $5.99 a bushel in 2014-15.
Only minor changes were made in 2015-16 wheat-by-class numbers. Initial wheat-by-class estimates for 2016-17 will be issued by the USDA in July.

U.S. corn carryover on Sept. 1, 2017, was projected at 2.153 billion bushels, up 350 million bushels, or 19%, from a downwardly revised 1.803 billion bushels in 2016. If realized, 2017 carryover would be the highest since the mid-1980s. The USDA 2017 U.S. corn carryover number was below the average trade expectation of 2.294 billion bushels. The 2016 carryover also was below the trade average of 1.841 billion bushels.

The USDA projected 2016 U.S. corn production at a record 14.430 billion bushels, up 829 million bushels, or 6%, from 13.601 billion bushels in 2015, based on harvested area of 85.9 million acres, up 5.2 million, or 6%, from 2015, and yield of 168 bushels an acre, down 0.4 bushels from last year. Total corn supply in 2016-17 was projected at a record 16.273 billion bushels and use at a record 14.120 billion bushels.

U.S. soybean carryover on Sept. 1, 2017, was projected at 305 million bushels, down 95 million bushels, or 24%, from a downwardly revised 400 million bushels in 2016. The 2017 USDA soybean carryover number was well below the average trade expectation near 405 million bushels. The 2016 number also was below the trade average of 426 million bushels.

The USDA projected 2016 U.S. soybean production at 3.8 billion bushels, down 129 million bushels, or 3%, from 3.929 billion bushels in 2015, based on harvested area at 81.4 million acres, down 400,000 acres from 2015, and yield at 46.7 bushels an acre, down 1.3 bushels from last year. 

The soybean numbers were the biggest surprise, and soy complex futures were trading sharply higher after the report, while corn futures were higher and wheat futures were up slightly.
Wheat production was based on a combination of survey results for winter wheat and trend projections for durum and other spring. The first survey-based durum, other spring wheat, corn and soybean numbers will be released in August.