Global wheat production is forecast to produce a new record of 777 million tonnes (Mt) – 46Mt greater than the previous year.
AS NORTHERN hemisphere crops near the start of their harvest in late May and June, the USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) have generated a global wheat production forecast of a record 777 million tonnes (Mt) – 46Mt greater than the previous year – which will recharge coffers depleted by last year’s smaller crops.
The greatest turnaround in wheat production forecasts in 2019-20 among major exporters will occur in the EU, where a 17Mt increase is forecast, and Australia, Canada, Russia and Ukraine are all expected to harvest 3-5Mt more wheat this year than in 2018-19.
USDA forecasts Australia’s new-crop wheat production at 22.5Mt, up from 17.3Mt in the 2018-19 marketing year.
The increase in production will lead in 2019-20 to higher trade, consumption and stocks, all of which were cut in 2018-19 by below-trend world crops, moves which drove prices higher over most of the marketing year.
While global consumption is projected at a record 755Mt in 2019-20, the figure, for the sixth time in seven years, will be smaller than production.
Consumption for food, seed and industrial uses has continued its uptrend, attributed in some parts of the world to population growth, better nutrition, and elsewhere to changing tastes and preferences.
Consumers continue to move toward a more wheat-based diet with rising incomes and increased urbanisation.
The quantity of wheat consumed for feed, plus residual, shown in the top section of Graph 2, usually depends on price relationships between feed wheat and other grains, but is also affected by losses which occur in years of abundant supply; the higher figure this year is partly explained by expectations of higher losses at various stages of the marketing chain.