March 1 wheat stocks the highest since 2000, April 6, 2010
by Jay Sjerven

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The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 31 estimated stocks of wheat in all positions in the United States on March 1 at 1,352,333,000 bus, up 312,269,000 bus, or 30%, from 1,040,064,000 bus a year earlier. The March 1 wheat inventory was the largest since 2000, when wheat holdings were 1,417 million bus. The wheat stocks estimate was slightly below pre-report trade expectations that averaged about 1,364 million bus.

The U.S.D.A. estimated wheat disappearance in December 2009-February 2010, the third quarter of the 2009-10 crop year, at 429,358,000 bus, up 47,333,000 bus, or 12%, from 382,025,000 bus during the same span in 2008-09. Wheat disappearance during the first nine months of the crop year (June 2009-February 2010) was estimated at 1,520,343,000 bus, down 244,575,000 bus, or 14%, from 1,764,918,000 bus during the first three quarters of 2008-09.

Of the March 1 wheat inventory, 348,200,000 bus, or 26%, was held on farms.

The largest regional wheat inventory was held in the winter wheat states of the Southwest — Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. March 1 wheat stocks there totaled 433,661,000 bus, up 42% from 305,976,000 bus a year earlier. The second-largest holdings were in the spring wheat states of the Upper Midwest – Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota — where March 1 stocks were 399,188,000 bus, up 36% from 294,485,000 bus in 2009.

March 1 stocks of wheat in the Central states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio — the principal soft red winter wheat region, totaled 204,670,000 bus, up 22% from 167,884,000 bus a year earlier. Wheat stocks in the Pacific Northwest — Idaho, Oregon and Washington — aggregated 137,572,000 bus, up 16% from 118,769,000 bus in 2009.

March 1 durum stocks were estimated at 55,647,000 bus, up 72% from 32,271,000 bus a year earlier. Indicated durum disappearance during December-February was 20,134,000 bus, up 65% from 12,234,000 bus during the same span in 2008-09. Durum disappearance during the first three quarters of the crop year (June-February) was estimated at 78,469,000 bus, up 31% from 59,844,000 bus during the first nine months of 2008-09.

Stocks of corn on March 1 totaled 7,693,940,000 bus, up 11% from 6,954,145,000 bus a year earlier. On-farm corn stocks were 4,548,000,000 bus, up 11% from last year, and off-farm stocks were 3,145,940,000 bus, up 10%. Soybean stocks in all positions were 1,270,006,000 bus, down 2% from 1,301,789,000 bus on March 1, 2009. On-farm stocks were 609,200,000 bus, down 7% from last year, and off-farm stocks totaled 660,806,000 bus, up 2%.

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