Markets

Australian wheat export forecast cut, imports tripled: WASDE

Grain Central, December 11, 2019

THE UNITED States Department of Agriculture has cut its forecast for Australian wheat exports from the crop now being harvested to 8.4 million tonnes (Mt), down from its previous figure of 9Mt released last month.

Manildra Group’s Shoalhaven Starches plant received all the wheat Australian imported in 2018/19, and appears likely to continue imports in 2019/20 as drought conditions in NSW prevail.

The number comes from the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) released overnight, which has cut the estimate for Australia’s 2019/20 wheat crop to 16.1Mt.

This is down 1.1Mt from 17.2Mt forecast in the November WASDE report, but above 15.9Mt forecast in the ABARES Australian Crop Report released last week.

USDA predicts the current Australian wheat crop will be its smallest since 2007/08.

This month’s WASDE has tripled the forecast for Australia’s 2019/20 wheat imports to 450,000t from 150,000t forecast last month.

In old-crop, USDA estimates for Australia’s 2018/19 wheat sit at 360,000t for imports, and 9Mt of exports from a 17.3Mt crop.

Argentina has also had a sharp reduction in its new-crop wheat estimate, which now sits at 19Mt, down from 20Mt seen last month.

The forecast for Argentina’s wheat exports has also lost 1Mt since last month, and now sits at 13Mt.

Global picture

Cuts to Argentine and Australian wheat estimates because of continued drought conditions are largely behind the downward revision for 2019/20 global wheat production.

It now sits at 765.4Mt, down from 765.6Mt seen last month.

“The global outlook for wheat this month is for several mostly offsetting production changes, slightly lower global use and trade, and increased ending stocks,” the report said.

USDA’s estimate for Canadian 2019/20 wheat has been cut by 700,000t to 32.4Mt on updated StatsCan data.

Partly offsetting this has been a 1.6Mt production increase for China to 133.6Mt, based on updated National Bureau of Statistics data.

Estimates for the EU and Russian crops have both been raised 500,000t to reflect updated harvest data.

Projected 2019/20 global exports have been cut by 900,000t, with reductions for Argentina, Australia and Canada partly offset by increases for Russia and the US.

“The US has become more price-competitive in some international markets, and increased sales are expected to continue in the second half of the market year from reduced competition.

“With global use down 1.4Mt, world ending stocks are raised 1.2Mt to a record 289.5Mt.

“China’s 2019/20 ending stocks are raised 1.8Mt to 147.5Mt, and account for 51 per cent of the global total.”

Source: USDA  

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