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USDA cuts 2004 U.S. wheat carryover projection as exports rise
USDA, January 14, 2004
WASHINGTON — Spurred by continuing strength in U.S. wheat exports, the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday lowered by 24 million bushels (653,000 tonnes), or 4%, its wheat carryover forecast for June 1, 2004.

Even with that reduction, the projected carryover, at 559 million bushels (15.2 million tonnes would represent an increase of 68 million bushels, or 14%, from 491 million bushels (13.4 million tonnes) as of June 1, 2003.

The decrease in the carryover forecast resulted from a 25-million-bushel upward revision, to 1.125 billion bushels, in the ERS projection for 2003-04 U.S. wheat exports. That increase overwhelmed the minor impact of a 1-million-bushel decrease, to 84 million, in projected seed use of wheat in the current year.

"Projected exports are 25 million bushels above last month because of increased world import demand and the strong pace of exports to date," the ERS said in commentary accompanying the January supply/demand data.

If the revised export projection proves accurate, the 2003-04 wheat outgo would be the largest since 1995-96, when exports totaled 1.24 billion bushels. U.S. wheat exports in 2002-03 reached just 854 million bushels, a 31-year low. The recent five-year average for U.S. wheat exports is 1 billion bushels.

The ERS raised its export projection by 25 million bushels in each of the last three monthly supply/demand reports. The initial export forecast for 2003-04, made last May, was 950 million bushels.

The ERS left unchanged its projection, at 2.9 billion bushels, of 2003-04 wheat supplies. That amount comprises beginning stocks of 491 million bushels, expected production at 2.34 billion bushels and imports of 75 million.

The ERS projected food use of wheat in 2003-04 at 910 million bushels, unchanged from the December forecast but down 8 million bushels from 2002-03 and down from 926 million bushels in 2001-02. Food use of wheat was a record high in 2000-01 at 950 million bushels.

Projections for total domestic use of wheat in 2003-04 equaled 1.22 billion bushels, down 1 million bushels from December but up 91 million bushels, or 8%, from 1.13 billion bushels in 2002-03.

Total disappearance of wheat in 2003-04 was projected at 2.34 billion bushels, up 24 million from the December forecast and up 362 million bushels, or 18%, from 1.98 billion bushels in 2002-03 and compared with 2.16 billion bushels in 2001-02.

The ERS said the national average farm price of wheat should fall within a range of U.S.$3.25 to U.S.$3.45 per bushel (U.S.$119 to U.S.$127 per tonne) in 2003-04, up 5c from the range forecast in December and compared with $3.56 in 2002-03 and $2.78 in 2001-02.
MGR Archive 14.1.2004
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