For the 2000/01 season, the major U.S. wheat competitors (European Union, Argentina, Australia, and Canada) are forecast to increase production by roughly 5 million tons due to increased area. The major importers (including China, FSU-12, Eastern Europe, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Brazil) are forecast to have a reduction in wheat production by about 9 million tons from the previous year due mainly to lower yield projections. Morocco and Iran are down significantly from last season's poor crop due to drought. Also, reduced area in China due to pricing policy has led to a forecast of decreased output. Although Russia and Ukraine output is forecast slightly above last season, production is still substantially below the 10-year average. For the competitors, the European Union crop is forecast at a record level due to increased area and yield. Australia and Canada are forecast down slightly from last season due to lower yield and Argentina is virtually unchanged as an increase in area offsets a decrease in yield. For the past three years, the major competitors have increased production while wheat output in the United States has decreased. As U.S. producers respond to low wheat prices by cutting area, the major competitors are continuing to expand production.
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