World watches for higher wheat yields in 2013

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Governments around the world are anticipating higher wheat yields during the 2013-14 crop year that would replenish tight supplies and decrease prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that global wheat production could even reach a new record.

“If not a record crop, then certainly we can expect a return to the levels we have seen in recent years,” said Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Joseph Glauber in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires.

The USDA is expected to update its global wheat, soybean and corn forecasts Friday.

The U.S. is not the only country forecasting a larger wheat crop. The Food and Agriculture Organization reported that it expected a record wheat crop this year because farmers around the world planned to plant more wheat to take advantage of higher global prices. FAO predicted production would increase to 690 million tons, which is up 4.3 percent from 2012.

FAO expected the majority of the increase in wheat acres would come from Europe. In the meantime, it recognized that winter wheat in the United States could turn out better than expected after a round of snowstorms brought moisture to parts of the Plains that have been suffering from an extreme drought.

With higher wheat crops forecast for this year, wheat prices will remain under pressure, especially if parts of the U.S. receive precipitation to counteract the effects of the current drought. Both Russia and Australia are also expecting to have higher wheat yields this year. Australia’s government forecasted that wheat production would increase 13 percent.

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