WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Feb. 6 raised its forecast for the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2018, to 1,009 million bus. The new forecast was 20 million bus higher than the January projection. A forecast decline of 25 million bus for 2017-18 wheat exports from the January outlook more than offset a 5-million-bu increase in the forecast for food use of wheat.
At 1,009 million bus, the revised carryover forecast was 172 million bus shy of the 2017 carryover pegged at 1,181 million bus. The 2017 wheat carryover was the largest since 1988. The new forecast compared with the average of pre-report trade projections at 993 million bus.
The U.S.D.A. forecast for the 2017-18 wheat supply was unchanged at 3,076 million bus, which included a carry-in of 1,181 million bus, unchanged from January, production at 1,741 million bus, unchanged from the January estimate but down 25% from 2,309 million bus in 2017, and forecast imports at 155 million bus, also unchanged from January but up 37 million bus from 2016-17.
The U.S.D.A. forecast food use of wheat in 2017-18 at 955 million bus, up 5 million bus from the January projection, up 6 million bus from 2016-17 total but shy of the 957 million bus in food use in 2015-16 and the record 958 million bus in 2014-15. The U.S.D.A. raised its food use forecast based on the National Agricultural Statistics Service Flour Milling Products report issued on Feb. 1, which indicated a higher-than-expected use in the first half of 2017-18.
“Additionally, implied flour extraction rates were lower in the second quarter, as compared with last year, and a continuation of this trend is expected to support increased wheat for food usage into the second half of 2017-18,” the U.S.D.A. said.
Seed use of wheat in 2017-18 was forecast at 62 million bus, unchanged from January and up 1 million bus from 2016-17. Feed and residual use of wheat in 2017-18 was forecast at 100 million bus, unchanged from January but down 56 million bus from 2016-17.
The U.S.D.A. forecast 2017-18 wheat exports at 950 million bus, down 25 million bus from January and down 10% from 1,055 million bus in 2016-17.The U.S.D.A. forecast the 2018 carryover of hard red winter wheat at 494 million bus, up 10 million from the January projection. The hard red spring carryover was forecast at 176 million bus, down 2 million bus. The soft red winter wheat carryover was forecast at 228 million bus, down 3 million bus from January. The white wheat carryover was forecast at 76 million bus, up 15 million bus from January because of lower forecast exports. The durum carryover was forecast at 35 million bus, unchanged from January.