WORLD WHEAT SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
World wheat trade in 1999/2000 is projected at 100.2 million tons. This is the seventh consecutive year that trade has been around this level although prices have fluctuated between record highs and near record lows. Slightly higher U.S. exports will face strong competition from Canada, Argentina, and Australia due to bumper harvests. Global production is down from the 1997/98 record, owing to smaller crops in several key importing countries, as well as the United States and the European Union. For the first time in nearly a decade, global consumption is forecast slightly lower, as the growth in food use is overshadowed by a decline in wheat used for feeding. Nevertheless, consumption is still forecast to exceed production for the second year in a row and consequently ending stocks will be drawn down. However, stocks in the major exporting countries will remain large, limiting any price increase.
Over the past month, U.S. wheat prices have dropped $7 per ton due to larger-than-expected September 1 stocks as indicated in USDAs Grain Stocks Report and good planting conditions for new-crop winter wheat. In early October, export quotes for #2 HRW FOB Gulf averaged about $113 per ton for nearby shipment compared to $120 last month. World wheat trade is up slightly this month due to higher projected imports by Morocco, Belarus, and Poland as well as more exportable supplies in Kazakhstan.
1999/2000 Trade Changes
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