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Global wheat estimate nudges higher

Global wheat estimate nudges higher; Aust barley drops from top spot: USDA
Grain Central, February 11, 2019
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THE US Government’s shutdown of non-essential services has had the global grain market holding its breath ahead of the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.
Released by the USDA on Friday, the figures filled the gap left by the absence of the January monthly report, and were met in some trade circles, perhaps unfairly, with a yawn.
No wheat surprises
USDA lifted its world 2018-19 wheat production estimate to 735 million tonnes (Mt) in February from the December estimate of 733Mt, mostly on account of Russia’s already well-publicised yield improvement in its wheat crop just harvested.
Consumption, international trade and stock estimates were tweaked accordingly, taking into account a greater volume of exports from Russia, Paraguay, Pakistan and Brazil balancing Australia’s shortfall this year.
China’s 2018-19 wheat imports estimate was cut to 3.5Mt, 500,000t below USDA’s December estimate, but China’s consumption of wheat was seen as 2Mt higher at 125Mt, indicative of greater usage of local production.
Trade commentators noted that significant cuts to US wheat planted area estimates were expected. Soft Red Winter wheat plantings in 2019 were forecast 7 per cent (pc) lower than previous year; US winter wheat planted area in 2019 aggregate was forecast 4pc lower than 2018, including the wheat classes, Hard Red, Soft Red and White.
Wheat futures markets barely shifted on Friday after the 11am US central time release of the reports.
US Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat remained the cheapest wheat in the world and price-wise it still calculated into virtually all destinations.

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