by Keith Good, University of Illinois FarmDoc project

In its monthly Wheat Outlook report earlier this week, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) indicated that, “U.S. all-wheat exports are lowered 25 million bushels to 700 million bushels, the lowest since 1971/72.

“Despite an increase in Hard Red Winter (HRW) production, exports for HRW are cut 25 million bushels to 165 million, the lowest level since by-class supply and utilization records began in 1973/74. U.S. exports of HRW remain uncompetitive on the global market as shown in shipment and sales data.

HRW exports in June 2023 were 10 million bushels, down from 19.2 million bushels in June 2022. Using data from the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service’s Export Sales Reporting, all-wheat U.S. total commitments (the sum of accumulated exports and outstanding sales) are about 6.4 million metric tons as of August 3, down 26 percent from the same point last year and 37 percent below the recent 10-year average at this point (2013/14-2022/23).

HRW total commitments are down 53 percent compared with last year as shipments from Russia and the European Union remain competitive internationally.”

This week’s update added that, “Wheat prices reached historic highs in May 2022. Since then, U.S. and global wheat prices have cooled as supply concerns in many key wheat exporting countries subsided.

Wheat export prices for the United States, Russia, and France in July 2023 are well below the peaks observed in May 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

“Large exportable supplies in Russia and France have contributed to low prices for those exporters. Russia’s total is forecast above 100 million metric tons (MMT) for the second consecutive year, despite lower production in 2023/24 due to large carryover stocks. Wheat production for France in 2023/24 is forecast to recover from the dry condition in 2022/23.”

The ERS report also noted that, “Global ending stocks are lowered 0.9 MMT to 265.6 MMT largely driven by lower ending stocks for China–down 2.2 MMT to 134.9 MMT on reduced production. Major exporters ending stocks are raised 1.2 MMT to 55.9 MMT.”

To read the entire report click here.