Included This Month: 1998/99 Forecasts:
May is the first month that USDA forecasts outyear (1998/99) wheat and coarse grains production for all countries. World and U.S. rice, total oilseeds, and cotton production are forecast in the aggregate: in July, individual country production numbers will be released. World 1998/99 wheat production is forecast down from 1997/98, primarily in the United States, China, Argentina, Canada, and the FSU-12, due to lower international prices and poor planting conditions in some countries. World 1998/99 coarse grain production is forecast higher due to increases mainly in the United States and China. The corn crop in both countries is forecast to be the second-largest on record. World 1998/99 rice production is forecast at a record level due to an estimated record total foreign output. The strong world rice price likely will encourage major foreign exporting countries to plant more area. For the United States, the rice crop is forecast to be the second-highest on record. World oilseed production for 1998/99 is forecast higher on continued strengthening of world demand for edible oil. U.S. soybean output is projected at a record based on record area and bumper yields. World cotton production for 1998/99 is forecast down for the third consecutive year as U.S. and world prices are depressed. Preliminary forecasts indicate world production could decline to 86.5 million bales with China and the United States having the largest declines.