U.S. wheat exports for the 2012/13 July-June international trade year are projected down 1.0 million tons this month to 29.5 million. U.S. exports, though, are still expected to be up 1.4 million tons on the July-June year.

Even though it has been expected that U.S. wheat exports will be back-loaded, with more exports occurring in the later part of the year when the main competitors exhaust their supplies, the current U.S. pace of exports is extremely poor.

Already 5 months into the international year (and 6 months into the local marketing year), it is getting increasingly difficult to achieve projected exports, especially with larger wheat supplies and stronger competition from Australia and Canada. Also, the outlook for next year’s U.S wheat crop has grown increasingly uncertain, given unfavorable November crop conditions. If this pessimistic outlook is realized, domestic prices could rise more than would be expected seasonally, intensifying competition for U.S. exports.

Census exports for July through October 2012 are 8.5 million tons, still 12 percent down compared to a year ago. Grain Inspections for November were 1.3 million tons, down 21 percent from 2011.

At the end of November 2012, outstanding export sales for the current marketing year were 4.45 million tons, almost 4 percent lower than last year at the same time. The total export commitment (U.S. Census for October, plus November inspections, plus November 29 outstanding sales) comes to 14.2 million tons, versus 15.9 million last year, a decline of 10 percent while 2012/13. U.S. exports for the July-June year are still forecast about 5 percent higher than in 2011/12.

For the local June-May marketing year, U.S. exports are down 50 million bushels (or 1.4 million tons), to 1,050 million (or 28.6 million tons) this month.