U.S. seen gaining share of world wheat production

by Josh Sosland
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LONDON — The United States in 2018-19 will account for a larger proportion of world wheat production than in 2013-14 but will have a smaller share of world wheat exports, according to forecasts issued Dec. 10 by the International Grains Council.

The shifts in market share for the United States are indicated in a 74-page data report from the I.G.C. titled “Five-year global supply and demand projections.”

U.S. wheat production was projected by the I.G.C. to climb to 65 million tonnes in 2018-19, up 13% from the 57.5 million tonnes forecast for 2013-14. World wheat production over this same period was projected to rise to 737 million tonnes, up 6%. With its faster growth, the U.S. share of world wheat production was projected to edge upward to 8.8% in 2018-19 from 8.3% in 2013-14.

By contrast, U.S. wheat exports were expected to decline to 29.5 million tonnes in 2018-19, down 1.3% from 29.9 million tonnes as projected for 2013-14. Reflecting volatility in the trade figure, the forecast for 2013-14 represented a 9% jump from 27.4 million tonnes in 2012-13. World wheat trade in 2018-19 was forecast by the I.G.C. at 148 million tonnes, up 7.2%. As a result, the U.S. share of world wheat trade was expected to fall to 19.9% in 2018-19 from 21.7% in the current crop year.

The I.G.C. projected a modest annual expansion in world wheat area in the years between 2014-15 and 2018-19 (0.5% per year) and slightly greater gains in yields (0.8%). Overall, the wheat crop size was forecast to grow an average of 1.3% per year during this period. The projected rate of growth would lag most other grains, including maize, which was expected to experience 1.8% annual production growth. Production of soybeans was expected to grow by 2% per year between 2014-15 and 2018-19; rapeseed/canola, up 2.4%; rice, up 0.8%; barley, 1.8%; sorghum, up 1.4%; and oats, up 1.2%.

Overall global grains production (wheat and coarse grains) in 2018-19 was projected by the I.G.C. at 2,064 million tonnes, up 6.4% from 1,940 million tonnes in 2013-14. The average growth rate in the years 2014-15 to 2018-19 was estimated at 1.6%. Oilseeds production in 2018-19 was projected at 387 million tonnes, up 11% from 350 million tonnes in 2013-14, for an average growth rate of 2.1%.
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