World wheat: Shifting production and exports

Since 1995, world wheat production has increased from 20 billion bushels to a projected 27.4 billion bushels in 2016, a 37 percent increase. For the same 10 year period, average U.S. wheat production went from 2.24 billion bushels in 1995 to 2.18 billion bushels for 2016, a 2.7 percent decline.
The percentage of world wheat production for Argentina, Australia, China, the European Union (EU), Russia, and the U.S. is shown in Figure 1. U.S. wheat as a percentage of world production started declining about 1998. For the 10 years before 1998, U.S. wheat averaged 11.4 percent of world production. For the last 10-years (2007-2016), U.S. wheat production averaged 9.3 percent — an 18 percent decrease in the U.S. percentage of world production.
During the same period, increased production as a percentage of world production occurred in Argentina (27 percent), Australia (32 percent), and the European Union (31 percent). Declines were in China (5 percent), Canada (2 percent), Russia (21 percent), and the Ukraine (36 percent). These percentages are based on 10-year averages. During the last few years, Russian wheat production has increased.
Exports as a percentage of world exports for Argentina, Australia, the European Union, the U.S., and Russia are shown in Figure 2. For the 2016/17 wheat marketing year, Russia is projected to be the No. 1 exporter in the world with 1.1 billion bushels.
Before 2013, the U.S. was the No. 1 wheat exporter. For the 2013/14 wheat marketing year, EU exports were the same as U.S. exports. EU exports were higher than the U.S. for both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 marketing years.
As a percentage of world exports, U.S. exports declined from 38 percent in the 1985/86 marketing year to 12.2 percent in 2015/16. For the 2016/17 wheat marketing year, U.S. exports as a percentage of world exports are projected to be 15.2 percent.
Before the 2001/02 wheat marketing year, Russian wheat exports made up less than 1 percent of world wheat exports. During the 2002/03 wheat marketing year, Russian exports made up 11 percent of world exports.
Between 1996/97 and 2007/08, Argentine wheat exports averaged 9.3 percent of world exports. Between 2008/09 and 2016/17, Argentine wheat exports averaged 4.6 percent of world exports. With a new president who reduced or alleviated the export tax, Argentina’s wheat exports are projected to increase.
For the most part, Australia’s wheat exports as a percentage of world exports have been relatively flat. Australia’s exports have varied depending on annual wheat production and stocks.
Since the 1986/87 wheat marketing year, both U.S. wheat production and exports as a percentage of world production and exports have declined. Increased production as a percentage of world production was observed in Argentina, Australia, and the European Union.

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