USDA forecast: Record Black Sea wheat crop


RECORD Black Sea region wheat production is the major contributor to a big lift in the grain’s global outlook.

The US Department of Agriculture has forecast wheat production of Russia, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine at 133.8 million tonnes this harvest — an 8.6 million tonne jump from last month’s estimate of 125.1 million tonnes and 3.5 million tonnes more than the previous record set last year.

Most of the big increase has come from Russia, where the harvest is expected to top 77.5 million tonnes — also another record.

In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released overnight, the USDA said the increase in forecasts were driven by harvest results to date and better spring wheat conditions for the Russian and Kazakhstan crops.

The good weather in the Black Sea region has also boosted the coarse grain crop, particularly the Russian barley crop.

The USDA forecast for coarse grain production in the former Soviet Union states has been increased by 2.75 million tonnes to 93.9 million tonnes.

It is also now forecasting the global wheat crop at 743.2 million tonnes, about 11 million tonnes less than last year’s record.

Despite a smaller crop, the global stockpile of wheat has climbed to a record 264.7 million tonnes.

The stocks to use ratio — a measure of the amount of stocks compared to consumption which influences the wheat price — now sits at 35.9 per cent, its highest level in about 40 years.

It means that if the global crop failed, it had more than four months in storage to feed the world’s population.

The good crops in the Black Sea region have been offset by declining conditions in North America.

The USDA reduced its estimate of the Canadian wheat crop by 1.9 million tonnes to 26.5 million tonnes and the US harvest by half a million tonnes to 47.3 million tonnes — mostly spring wheat grown in the northern plains area hit by drought.

The department left its estimate of the Australian wheat crop unchanged at 23.5 million tonnes.

The forecast for global corn production has been reduced by 3.5 million tonnes to 1.033 billion tonnes.

Chicago Board of Trade September wheat futures fell US19 cents a bushel to $US4.40 a bushel ($205 a tonne) upon the release of the WASDE report.

Corn futures fell US15 cents a bushel to $US3.71 a bushel, or $185 a tonne.

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