The U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 10 forecast 2010-11 world wheat ending stocks at 193.93 million tonnes, down 4.16 million tonnes from the May projection but up 1.03 million tonnes from 192.9 million tonnes in 2009-10. Even with the downward adjustment, 2010-11 wheat ending stocks were projected to be the largest since 204.28 million tonnes in 2001-02.

The projected slim increase in ending stocks from 2009-10 marked a slowing in the momentum of inventory building that has prevailed since 2007-08, when world ending stocks dropped to 124.42 million tonnes, their lowest level since 1981-82.

The U.S.D.A. forecast 2010-11 world wheat production at 668.52 million tonnes, down 3.36 million tonnes from the May projection and down 11.52 million tonnes, or 2%, from 680.04 million tonnes in 2009-10. The 2010-11 crop would be the third largest on record trailing the 2009-10 outturn and the record 683.15 million tonnes harvested in 2008-09.

The U.S.D.A. said in commentary accompanying its world wheat data, “Global production for 2010-11 is lowered 3.7 million tonnes for the European Union-27, Syria, Turkey and Russia. E.U.-27 production is lowered 2.1 million tonnes reflecting crop damage from recent flooding and heavy rains in Eastern Europe and April and May dryness in northwest France and the United Kingdom. Production for Syria and Turkey is lowered 1.3 million tonnes and 1 million tonnes, respectively, as widespread outbreaks of yellow rust have sharply reduced yield prospects in key growing areas of both countries. Russia production is lowered 0.5 million tonnes as reports of higher-than-expected winter kill, particularly in the Volga valley, reduce potential harvested area. Production is raised 0.5 million tonnes for Ukraine as recent rains have improved yield prospects.”

World wheat consumption in 2010-11 was projected at a record 667.49 million tonnes, up 0.03 million tonnes from the May forecast and up 2% from 652.18 million tonnes in 2009-10, the previous record. The U.S.D.A. said a 1-million-tonne increase in China wheat feeding was offset by the same-size reduction for the E.U.-27. Wheat consumption was lowered for Iraq and Brazil but raised for Afghanistan.

World wheat imports in 2010-11 were forecast at 127.65 million tonnes, up 2 million tonnes from the May forecast but down 0.36 million tonnes from 128.01 million tonnes in 2009-10. The U.S.D.A. indicated the increase in the trade forecast was due to increased demand from Syria, Turkey Afghanistan and Bangladesh.