WORLD WHEAT SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
U.S. wheat prices moved slightly higher over the past month due to weather concerns throughout the major wheat growing areas. Excessive rains have delayed winter wheat harvest in the Southern Plains and spring plantings in the Northern Plains. In early June, export quotes for #2 HRW FOB Gulf averaged about $114 per ton for nearby shipment compared to $121 a year ago. World wheat trade in 1999/00 is forecast at 101 million tons, unchanged from last months estimate. Global consumption is expected to be nearly 2 million tons lower this month, largely due to lower production prospects in Russia and the Ukraine, while the stocks-to-use ratio stands at 20 percent.
Wheat exports by Argentina in 1998/99 are forecast up 500,000 tons, to 8 million tons, due to robust shipments to date. 1999/2000 exports are also expected to be 500,000 tons higher at 7.5 million tons.
Canadian wheat exports in 1998/99 are projected 500,000 tons lower, to 13.5 million tons, the lowest level since 1978 (13.4 million tons) due to slow export shipments to date. Exports in 1999/2000 are also reduced 500,000 tons (to 16.5 million tons) based on smaller-than-expected production prospects. Excessive rains throughout much of Canada are expected to reduce plantings. The most affected areas are southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan.
1998/99 wheat exports by Ukraine and Hungary are forecast over 1 million tons above last months estimate (to 3.8 and 2.4 million tons respectively) due to aggressive export shipments to date. Likewise, exports by Ukraine in 1999/2000 are projected 500,000 tons higher, to 2.5 million tons.
Wheat exports by Turkey in 1999/2000 are forecast at 2.5 million tons, 500,000 tons below last month based on reduced production prospects. Lack of rain along the southern border and central and southeastern Anatolia during the spring months will likely reduce the crop.
Wheat imports by Pakistan in 1999/2000 are projected at 3.5 million tons, 500,000 tons lower than last month based on larger-than-expected production prospects.
1998/99 wheat imports by China are forecast at 1 million tons, 500,000 tons below last month and the lowest level on record due to slow import pace to date.
1998/99 wheat imports by Indonesia are forecast 300,000 tons higher this month to 2.8 million tons because of commercial purchases from Australia.
Brazilian wheat imports in1998/99 and 1999/2000 are expected to be 6.9 and 5.8 million tons respectively, an increase of 500,000 tons in each year.
The 1998/99 wheat import estimates for Morocco and the European Union are raised 400,000 tons each this month due to larger-than-expected imports from Hungary.
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