WORLD WHEAT SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
In early October, U.S. wheat prices rallied $18/ton above the previous month due to extremely dry soil conditions for winter wheat plantings in the Southern Plains, primarily Oklahoma and Texas. Export quotes for #2 HRW FOB Gulf are about $130/ton for nearby shipment compared to $153 this time last year. World wheat trade in 1998/99 stands at 98 million tons, slightly lower than last months estimate. Global stocks are down over 4 million tons from last month, with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Australia accounting for most of this reduction. Global consumption is expected to be slightly lower, while the stocks-to-use ratio stands at 21 percent.
The 1998/99 wheat export forecast for Argentina is lowered by 1 million tons on reduced production prospects due to smaller-than-expected plantings and dryness in some of the major wheat growing areas. Exports are expected to reach 7 million tons, which is over 2 million tons below last years level.
Turkeys wheat exports in 1998/99 are projected at 3 million tons (500,000 tons higher than last month) on larger-than-expected export sales by TMO, Turkish Grain Marketing Board.
Romanias wheat exports for 1998/99 are forecast at 600,000 tons, an increase of 350,000 tons above last month based on strong exports over the past several months.
Wheat exports by Kazakhstan in 1998/99 are projected down 500,000 tons on lower-than-expected production prospects. At the same time, wheat exports by Ukraine are expected to reach 1 million tons, (an increase of 400,000 tons) due to expected shipments of milling wheat to Russia.
Commercial wheat purchases by Indonesia are down 500,000 tons in 1998/99, to 2.5 million tons due to wheat and flour back-logs at the major flour mills. Since the elimination of the consumer subsidy and BULOGs (state buying agency) monopoly on wheat imports/flour distribution, sales of flour onto the domestic market have been at a standstill.
1998/99 wheat imports by Iran are forecast at 3.5 million tons, down 500,000 tons this month due to slower-than-expected purchases over the past few months.
South Koreas wheat imports are projected at 4.2 million tons, up 200,000 tons from last month because of increased demand for feeding.
The 1998/99 wheat import forecast for Bangladesh is raised 700,000 tons, to 1.9 million tons, based on donations through the World Food Program, including substantial volumes from the United States.
The 1998/99 wheat import forecast for Dominican Republic is raised to 375,000 tons, based on 100,000 tons of U.S. donations.
North Koreas wheat import in 1998/99 are projected at 800,000 tons due to 300,000 tons of U.S. donations.
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