While the US Department of Agriculture forecast lower production, supply and use of wheat in the United States in 2020-21, the world wheat outlook was seen as altogether different. The USDA forecast record world wheat production, supplies, use, trade and ending stocks in 2020-21.
The USDA forecast world wheat production in 2020-21 at 768.49 million tonnes, up 4.17 million tonnes from 764.32 million tonnes in 2019-20, the current record outturn.
While wheat production in the United States was forecast at 50.78 million tonnes, 1.48 million tonnes lower than in 2019-20, among the major exporters, Argentina, Australia, Canada and Russia were projected to have larger crops in 2020-21. The USDA noted Australia was forecast to have the largest increase in production from 2019-20. That nation’s 2020-21 crop was projected at 24 million tonnes, up 8.8 million tonnes from 2019-20. The European Union, though, was forecast to harvest a smaller crop this year. EU wheat production was projected at 143 million tonnes, 11.78 million tonnes lower than the 2019-20 outturn of 154.78 million tonnes.
The USDA forecast the world wheat supply in 2020-21 at a record 1.064 billion tonnes. It would be the second consecutive year world wheat supplies have exceeded 1 billion tonnes.
The USDA forecast 2020-21 world wheat consumption at a record 753.49 million tonnes, up 4.94 million tonnes from an estimated 748.55 million tonnes in 2019-20. The USDA said the increase in consumption reflected higher food, seed and industrial use of wheat, which more than offset reduced feed use of wheat because of greater global corn supplies.
World wheat exports in 2020-21 were projected at a record 187.98 million tonnes, up 4.58 million tonnes from an estimated 184.4 million tonnes in 2019-20.
The USDA commented, “Imports are projected to rise, primarily on increased demand by China, Algeria, Morocco, the EU, Iraq and Uzbekistan. Russia is projected as the 2020-21 leading world exporter at 35 million tonnes with Argentina, Australia and Canada also projected higher while the EU, Ukraine and the United States are lower.”
China was forecast to import 6 million tonnes of wheat in 2020-21 compared with an estimated 4 million tonnes in the current year.
The USDA projected world wheat ending stocks in 2020-21 at a record 310.12 million tonnes, up 15 million tonnes from an estimated 295.12 tonnes in 2019-21, the current record. It should be noted China’s 2020-21 wheat ending stocks were forecast at 160.36 million tonnes, which would account for 52% of the world total.