World wheat production to fall, USDA predicts

By FWi staff

WORLD wheat production is set to fall next season, according to first estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But higher-than-expected stocks are likely to keep prices low.

Supply and demand forecasts released yesterday (13 May) by USDA project a world wheat output of 597 million tonnes, 14m tonnes less than this season. This is 2m tonnes less than projected consumption and close to estimates made by the International Grains Council (IGC) last month.

But IGC analysts predict that world stocks at the end of the season will reach 124m tonnes, due mainly to a higher estimated carryover from 1997/98. This means supply will outstrip demand and lead to lower world prices.

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