The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 10 raised its forecasts for 2010-11 U.S. and world wheat ending stocks. Markets largely shrugged off the bearish data because of concerns about Australian wheat crop quality and dryness across western portions of the U.S. hard winter wheat belt.

The U.S.D.A. projected the U.S. carryover of wheat on June 1, 2011, at 858 million bus, up 10 million bus from its November forecast but down 118 million bus, or 12%, from 976 million bus in 2009. The increase in the carryover forecast was attributed to a 10-million-bu decrease in projected 2010-11 food use of wheat to 930 million bus. In commentary accompanying the supply/demand estimates, the U.S.D.A. said, “Projected food use is lowered 10 million bus on the latest mill-grind data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which indicate flour extraction rates that are higher than the long-term average for the third straight year.”

All other U.S. 2010-11 all-wheat supply-and-demand estimates were unchanged from November with production at 2,208 million bus (2,218 million bus in the previous year), imports at 110 million bus (119 million bus), seed use at 76 million bus (69 million bus), feed and residual at 180 million bus (150 million) and exports at 1,250 million bus (881 million).

By class, the U.S. wheat carryover forecasts were 338 million bus for hard winter wheat (up 15 million bus from November), 201 million bus for hard spring (down 10 million), 188 million for soft red (up 5 million), 83 million bus for white wheat (down 5 million) and 48 million bus for durum (up 5

million). Food use decreased 5 million bus for both hard winter wheat and soft red winter wheat. Also of note was a 10-million-bu decrease in forecast hard winter wheat exports, to 580 million bus, which was offset by a 10-million-bu increase in forecast hard spring wheat exports, to 370 million bus. White wheat exports were raised 5 million bus, to 175 million, and durum exports were lowered 5 million bus, to 45 million.

The U.S.D.A. projected 2010-11 world wheat ending stocks at 176.72 million tonnes, up 4.21 million tonnes from its November forecast but down 10% from 196.68 million tonnes in the previous year. The increase was attributed to production increases for Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Brazil and Ukraine as well as higher estimated European Union beginning stocks.

World wheat production was estimated at 646.51 million tonnes, up 3.62 million tonnes from November but down 5% from 682.11 million tonnes in 2009-10. World wheat use in 2010-11 was projected at a record 666.47 million tonnes, up 0.68 million tonnes from November and up 2% from 651.62 million tonnes in 2009-10. World wheat exports were projected at 125.58 million tonnes, down 1.65 million tonnes from November and down 7% from 135.60 million tonnes in the previous year.