WASHINGTON – With the exception of wheat-by-class and average price forecasts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture left projections for major U.S. grains and oilseeds in its Dec. 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report unchanged from November, but numerous changes were made to global forecasts, including additions to already record-high wheat, corn and soybean production.
The U.S.D.A. left unchanged from November its supply and use forecasts for all wheat, corn and soybeans. The average price range of wheat paid to farmers was narrowed to $3.60 to $3.80 a bu from $3.50 to $3.90 a bu in November and compared with $4.89 a bu in 2015-16. The forecast price range of corn was raised 5c from November to $3.05 to $3.65 a bu, which compared with $3.61 a bu last year. The average price range of soybeans was raised 25c from November to $8.70 to $10.20 a bu, which compared with $8.95 a bu last year.
The U.S.D.A. lowered its forecast for 2017 hard red winter wheat carryover by 5 million bus, to 583 million bus, because of a 5-million-bu hike in its 2016-17 export forecast to 395 million bus. The hard red spring wheat carryover was lowered by 2 million bus, to 208 million bus, because of a lower import forecast at 40 million bus. Soft red winter wheat carryover was forecast at 199 million bus, up 4 million bus from November on a like increase in imports to 36 million bus. The U.S.D.A. forecast 2017 durum carryover at 58 million bus, up 3 million bus from November. Durum imports in 2016-17 were lowered 2 million bus, to 34 million bus, and exports were lowered 5 million bus, to 25 million bus.
Despite the minor changes in domestic forecasts (The next U.S.D.A. revision to its crop production numbers for wheat, corn or soybeans will be in the annual crop production report on Jan. 12.), the U.S.D.A. made numerous adjustments to its global forecasts, with higher production and carry over numbers for already ample to record-high grain supplies.
The U.S.D.A. increased its forecast for 2016-17 global wheat production to a record 751.26 million tonnes, up 6.54 million tonnes from the November outlook and up 2% from 735.49 million tonnes in 2015-16, the current record. Notably, the U.S.D.A. raised its production forecast for Australia to a record 33 million tonnes, up 1.7 million tonnes from November. World wheat consumption in 2016-17 was forecast at a record 739.77 million tonnes, up 3.25 million tonnes from November and up 4% from 712.05 million tonnes in 2015-16, the current record. The U.S.D.A. forecast 2016-17 world wheat ending stocks at a record 252.14 million tonnes, up 2.91 million tonnes from November and up 11.49 million tonnes from 240.65 million tonnes in 2015-16, the current record.
World wheat exports in 2016-17 were forecast at 176.83 million tonnes, up 2.6 million tonnes from November and up 4.34 million tonnes from 2015-16. The U.S.D.A. raised its forecast for Australian exports by 3.5 million tonnes, to 24 million tonnes, and lowered the export forecast for Russia by 1 million tonnes, to 29 million tonnes.
The U.S.D.A. forecast world soybean production in 2016-17 at a record 338 million tonnes, up 1.91 million tonnes from the November projection and up 24.69 million tonnes from 313.31 million tonnes in 2015-16. The production forecasts were unchanged for the United States, Brazil and Argentina but were increased for India and Canada. World soybean consumption in 2016-17 was forecast at a record 330.09 million tonnes, up 1.4 million tonnes from November and up 5% from 315.74 million tonnes in 2015-16. World soybean ending stocks were forecast at 82.85 million tonnes, up 1.32 million tonnes from November and up 5.63 million tonnes from 2015-16.The U.S.D.A. forecast world corn production in 2016-17 at a record 1,039.73 million tonnes, up 9.2 million tonnes from the November projection and up 8% from 961.08 million tonnes in 2015-16. The largest increase from November was forecast for China, whose production outlook was raised 3.55 million tonnes, to 219.55 million tonnes. World corn consumption in the current year was forecast at a record 1,026.43 million tonnes, up 4.69 million tonnes from November and up 7% from 960.4 million tonnes in 2015-16. World corn ending stocks in 2016-17 were forecast at 222.25 million tonnes, up 4.06 million tonnes from November and up 6% from 208.95 million tonnes in 2015-16.