By FWi staff

WORLD wheat production estimates remain unchanged at 583 million tonnes, despite some small adjustments for a number of countries.

But world trade estimates have slipped slightly, falling 1 million to 93 million tonnes on the back of slow milling wheat sales.

Shipments of feed wheat should be similar to last years above-average figures, said a spokesman from the International Grains Council.

“While still higher than in 1997/98, estimated exports are now lower for both the EC and the United States,” he said.

However, despite these lower predictions, estimates have been raised for Argentina and a number of smaller exporters.

World consumption has fallen, with forecasts down 2 million to 592 million tonnes.

World estimates – wheat
  95-96 96-97 97-98 98-99 (forecast as at 20/01/99) 98-99 (forecast as at 24/02/99)
Production 541 582 610 583 583
Trade 90 95 95 94 93
Consumption 553 578 589 594 592
Stocks 106 110 131 121 123

But feed use is expected to be at an all-time high in the EU, at 39.5 million tonnes, while total feed use is estimated at 103 million tonnes. The USA is expected to use a total of 9.5 million tonnes.

World stocks are forecast 2 million up at 123 million tonnes, although they still stand 8 million tonnes below last season.

Aggregate carryover stocks in the five major exporters are projected to increase by 14 million to 55 million tonnes, noted the IGC.