U.S.D.A. projects smallest wheat supply since 2007-08

by Jay Sjerven
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WASHINGTON — U.S. wheat supplies in the 2014-15 marketing year beginning June 1 will be the smallest since 2007-08, according to the Grains and Oilseeds Outlook issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at its Agricultural Outlook Forum on Feb. 21. The U.S.D.A. projected the U.S. wheat supply in 2014-15 at 2,868 million bus, down 150 million bus, or 5%, from 3,018 million bus in 2013-14 and compared with 3,131 million bus in 2012-13.

The U.S.D.A. projected 2014 wheat production at 2,160 million bus, up 30 million bus from 2013 and compared with 2,266 million bus in 2012. The recent five-year average wheat outturn was 2,244 million bus. Wheat imports in 2014-15 were projected at 150 million bus, a large inflow but well short of the record 170 million bus forecast for the current year.

The U.S.D.A. preliminarily projected the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2015, at 587 million bus, up 29 million bus, or 5%, from a forecast 558 million bus in 2014.

In comparison, wheat supplies in the United States in 2007-08 aggregated 2,620 million bus, which was low because of the small 2007 carryover, 456 million bus, left after the disappointing 2006 wheat outturn of 1,808 million bus. U.S. wheat production in 2007 was mediocre at 2,051 million bus, so supply tightness extended throughout 2007-08. Ending stocks for the 2007-08 crop year totaled 306 million bus, which was the lowest end-of-year inventory since shortly after World War II.
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