U.S. 2011 wheat carryover up 3% from February

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. 2011 carryover projection for wheat was raised by 3% from February due to an expected reduction in 2010-11 wheat exports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its March 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

U.S. wheat carryover on June 1, 2011, was projected at 843 million bus, up 25 million bus, or 3%, from 818 million bus in February but down 133 million bus, or 14%, from 976 million bus in 2010, the U.S.D.A. said.

The U.S.D.A. wheat carryover projection was above trade expectations, which averaged near 810 million bus.

As of March 16, the nearby May wheat futures price in Chicago was down 20% from March 4 and 28% from its Feb. 9 high, while Kansas City May and Minneapolis May both sank 16% since early March and 22% since early February, on a combination of bearish U.S.D.A. data, unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The carryover increase was the result of a 25-million-bu cut in projected 2010-11 exports. At 1,275 million bus, projected 2010-11 U.S. wheat exports were down 2% from 1,300 million bus projected in February but up 394 million bus, or 45%, from 881 million bus in 2009-10 and still the highest since 1992-93.

“Projected exports are lowered 25 million bus with increased world supplies of high quality wheat, particularly in Australia, and a slower-than-expected pace of U.S. shipments heading into the final quarter of the wheat marketing year,” the U.S.D.A. said.

Except for exports and carryover, U.S. 2010-11 all wheat supply numbers were unchanged from February, including beginning stocks at 976 million bus, production at 2,208 million bus, imports at 110 million bus and total supply at 3,294 million bus.

Also unchanged from last month were 2010-11 use projections, including food use at 930 million bus, seed use at 76 million bus, feed and residual at 170 million bus and total domestic use at 1,176 million bus. Total use was reduced by 25 million bus to 2,451 million bus due to the cut in exports.

But there were several changes from February in the by-class breakdown. The U.S.D.A. projected June 1, 2011, carryover of hard winter wheat at 310 million bus, down 3 million bus from February and down 75 million bus from a year ago. The March change was based on a 5-million-bu increase in exports, to 620 million bus, and a 2-million-bu decrease in domestic use, to 474 million bus.

Hard spring wheat carryover on June 1, 2011, was projected at 233 million bus, up 22 million bus from February and just 1 million bus below 234 million bus in 2010. Domestic use was projected at 271 million bus, down 2 million bus from February, and exports were projected at 335 million bus, down 20 million bus from February.

Soft red winter wheat carryover was projected at 168 million bus, down 5 million bus from February based on a like increase in projected exports, to 100 million bus, and down 31 from 242 million bus in 2010.

White wheat carryover was projected at 83 million bus in 2011, up 10 million bus from February and up 3 million bus from 2010, based on a 10-million-bu decrease in 2010-11 exports at 180 million bus.

The average price of all wheat paid to farmers in 2010-11 was projected to range from $5.60@5.80 a bu, unchanged from February and compared with $4.87 a bu in 2009-10 and $6.78 a bu in 2008-09.

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