The U.S. wheat supply in 2016-17 was forecast at 3.362 billion bushels, up 180 million bushels from the June outlook and up 443 million bushels, or 15%, from 2.919 billion bushels in the previous year. The wheat supply this year was forecast to be the largest since 3.373 billion bushels in 1988-89. The USDA estimated 2016-17 wheat beginning stocks on June 1 at 981 million bushels, unchanged from the quarterly Grain Stocks report issued on June 30 and up 1 million bushels from the USDA’s June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The 2016 wheat crop was forecast at 2.261 billion bushels, up 184 million bushels, or 9%, from the June projection and up 209 million bushels, or 10%, from 2.052 billion bushels in 2015. U.S. 2016-17 wheat imports were forecast at 120 million bushels, down 5 million bushels from June but up 5 million bushels from 115 million bushels in 2015-16.
The USDA forecast wheat disappearance in 2016-17 at 2.257 billion bushels, up 125 million bushels from the June projection and up 320 million bushels, or 17%, from 1.937 billion bushels in 2015-16.
Domestic food use of wheat was forecast at a record 963 million bushels, unchanged from June and up 3 million bushels from 960 million bushels in 2015-16, the current record. Feed and residual use of wheat was forecast at 300 million bushels, up 100 million bushels from the June projection and up 168 million bushels from the previous year. The USDA attributed the increase in its feed and residual use forecast to “the larger supplies and increased price competitiveness with corn.” Seed use of wheat in 2016-17 was forecast at 69 million bushels, unchanged from June, up 1 million bushels from 2015-16 but down 10 million bushels from 79 million bushels in 2014-15.
U.S. wheat exports in 2016-17 were forecast at 925 million bushels, up 25 million bushels from the June outlook and up 148 million bushels, or 19%, from the historically low 777 million bushels in 2015-16. The 2015-16 export total was the smallest since 610 million bushels in 1971-72, which was the marketing year before the U.S.-Soviet wheat deal.
The USDA forecast the average farm price of wheat in 2016-17 to fall within a range from $3.40 to $4.20 a bushel, down 20¢ from the range forecast in June and compared with $4.89 in 2015-16 and $5.99 a bushel in 2014-15.
Standing out in the USDA’s initial wheat supply-and-demand forecasts by class was the outlook for hard red winter wheat. The USDA forecast the hard red winter wheat carryover on June 1, 2017, at 578 million bushels, up 132 million bushels, or 30%, from 446 million bushels in 2016. It would be the largest June 1 hard red winter wheat inventory since 973 million bushels in 1987 and would compare with 327 million bushels as the recent five-year average.
The spring wheat 2017 carryover was forecast at 254 million bushels, down 24 million bushels from 2016 and compared with 195 million bushels as the five-year average.
The soft red winter wheat carryover was forecast at 152 million bushels, down 5 million bushels from 2016 and compared with 154 million bushels in 2015 and the recent five-year average at 147 million bushels.
The white wheat carryover on June 1, 2017 was forecast at 89 million bushels, up 15 million bushels from 2016 and compared with 64 million bushels as the recent five-year average. It would be the largest June 1 white wheat inventory since 91 million bushels in 2000.
The 2017 durum carryover was forecast at 33 million bushels, up 5 million bushels from 2016 and compared with 25 million bushels as the recent five-year average.