WORLD WHEAT SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
U.S. wheat prices (#2 HRW FOB Gulf) have moved $13 lower since early March due to weak global demand, ample U.S. supplies and generally good global 1998 crop conditions. Export prices are down to about $132 for nearby shipment compared to $179 this time last year.
World wheat trade in 1997/98 is forecast down one million tons from last months estimate, to 98.1 million tons, but remains the highest volume in three years. Larger U.S. carry-out accounts for most of the rise in global stocks while global consumption is expected to be slightly lower. Global stocks-to-use ratio remains unchanged at 23 percent.
The 1997/98 wheat export forecast for the United States is reduced by 500,000 to 28.5 million tons based on sluggish export sales to date.
Australias wheat exports in 1997/98 are forecast to be 500,000 tons lower this month due to delayed shipments to India. Despite the confirmation of the 1.5 million ton sale, only 1 million tons is anticipated to be shipped during the balance of this marketing year.
Russias wheat exports are forecast 250,000 lower to 1 million tons due to slow export pace to date.
The import forecast for India is reduced 500,000 million tons, to 2 million tons due to delayed shipments from Australia. Uzbekistans imports are expected to be 500,000 tons lower due to slow import pace to date while the import forecast for Mexico is raised by 100,000 due to larger than expected purchases.
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