World wheat use and ending stocks down modestly in 2012/13

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Global wheat supply prospects for 2012/13 were reduced not only by lower production prospects, but also by reduced ending stocks for 2011/12. Recently acquired export data for Australia indicate another increase in historically high local marketing year wheat exports that, coupled with the lower revised 2010/11 wheat output, reduced its 2012/13 beginning stocks 1.5 million tons to 6.3 million. Changes to other countries were only partly offsetting, leaving world wheat beginning stocks for 2012/13 down 0.5 million tons this month to 198.2 million.

Global wheat consumption for 2011/12 is projected 2.4 million tons lower this month to 678.2 million, while wheat feed and residual use is up 2.4 million tons to 134.5 million, largely because of a 2.6-million-ton increase in U.S. wheat feed and residual disappearance. Changes in feed use in foreign countries are mostly offsetting. EU-27 wheat feed use is increased 0.5 million tons this month to 55.5 million, reflecting nearly stable meat production year-to-year and reduced wheat exports this month. Canada’s projected 2012/13 wheat feed and residual use is also up 0.5 million ton to 3.2 million, as smaller barley and corn crops considerably reduced coarse grain feeding.

With a 1.0-million-ton reduction in projected wheat harvest, feed consumption in Russia is trimmed another 0.5 million tons this month. This is despite an announced release of 1.0 million tons of wheat from intervention stocks targeted to livestock producers in the regions most affected by the drought. Feed use is projected down 0.2 million tons each in Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In Australia, lower wheat supplies are expected to drive domestic prices up and put pressure on feeding. With lower Australian supplies, wheat is becoming less competitive in Vietnam and Thailand, where, for Thailand, the reduction also reflects a reported shift away from wheat towards feeding of domestic broken rice.

Food use prospects for 2012/13 are down 1.0 million tons for India, as additional wheat exports appear to come from the domestic commercial market, rather than from government stocks. Food wheat use is also down 0.2 million tons in Mexico, reflecting lower imports (though still up 7 percent on the year). Smaller changes in domestic wheat use are made this month for a number of countries.

World wheat 2012/13 ending stocks are projected down 3.7 million tons this month, to 173.0 million with lower projected use only partly offsetting reduced supplies of wheat. Foreign ending stocks decline 2.5 million tons, to 155.2 million. The global stocks-to-use ratio is forecast at an adequate 25.5 percent.

Although 25 million tons lower than last year, current world ending stocks are still more than 5 million tons higher than in 2008/09, and almost 45 million tons higher than in 2007/08. This month’s U.S. stocks’ reduction accounts for about one third of the world’s ending stocks decline. Reductions in the ending stocks in Australia (down 1.3 million tons to 4.8 million) and Russia (down 1.0 million tons to 5.4 million) account for most of the rest, while the changes in the other countries’ wheat stocks are largely offsetting.

Minor reductions in Canadian and EU-27 wheat ending stocks (down 0.3 and 0.2 million tons, respectively) are almost offset by an increase in Argentina (up 0.4 million tons). Ending stocks are projected slightly up in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and down in Mexico, Kenya, and Kyrgyzstan. Small adjustments of less than 0.1 million tons are projected for a number of other countries.

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