WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 10 made only minor adjustments to its 2013-14 supply and demand forecasts for wheat. The U.S.D.A. forecast the U.S. wheat carryover on June 1, 2014, at 575 million bus, up 10 million bus from the November projection but down 143 million bus, or 20%, from 718 million bus in 2013. The December forecast exceeded the average of pre-report trade projections at around 553 million bus.

The U.S.D.A. raised its carryover forecast in response to forecast heavier wheat imports from Canada. “Record production and higher exports for Canada are expected to add to wheat supplies in the United States,” the U.S.D.A. said in commentary accompanying the supply-and-demand forecasts. “Imports are raised 5 million bus for each hard red spring and soft red winter wheat.”

Wheat imports in 2013-14 were forecast at 160 million bus, the highest in modern history (imports during World War II were larger). The increased import number raised the forecast wheat supply to 3,008 million bus, which still was down 123 million bus, or 4%, from 3,131 million bus in 2012-13. The U.S.D.A.’s wheat production estimate for 2013 was unchanged at 2,130 million bus.

All-wheat use forecasts for 2013-14 were left unchanged from November with food use at 950 million bus, seed use at 73 million bus, feed and residual use at 310 million bus, and exports at 1,100 million bus.

The U.S.D.A. commented, “Projected exports for all wheat are unchanged, but minor adjustments are made by class with soft red winter wheat exports raised 5 million bus and hard red spring wheat exports lowered an offsetting amount.”

The U.S.D.A. added, “The 2013-14 projected season-average farm price is lowered 10c at the midpoint with the range narrowed to $6.65@7.15 (from $6.70@7.30) as near record world supplies and increased export competition reduce price prospects for U.S. wheat.” The average farm price was $7.77 a bu in 2012-13 and $7.24 in 2011-12.