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USDA Forecasts Global Wheat Stocks Down For A 4th Year

Published Date: May 19, 2023

The USDA expects 2023–2024 to produce a record wheat crop of 789.8 million metric tons (mmt), an increase of 1.5 mmt or 0.2% from the previous year. 

Projections For Wheat Production 

According to early projections, production will increase in Argentina, Canada, the European Union, China, and India while it will decrease in Russia, Australia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Estimates place Canada's production at a nearly record-high 37 mmt. The 37.6 mmt produced in 2013–14 would serve as a comparison. As of April 30, 78% of the prairie agriculture land was experiencing some level of drought, making this seem like a difficult task. 

In 2023–2024, global stocks are predicted to decline by 1.939 mmt year over year to 264.344 mmt, exceeding the average of the pre-report estimates from Dow Jones by 0.6 mmt but continuing a four-year downward trend. When compared to the four-year average of 280.8 mmt, this represents the lowest level reported in eight years. 

Stockpile Projections 

Argentina, the European Union, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine are among the eight major exporters, and these five nations are anticipated to see a decline in stocks year over year. The stocks in Australia, Canada, and Kazakhstan are anticipated to rise year over year. 

Forecasted stocks outside of China are reported at 124.66 MMT, the lowest volume in 15 years, and also expected to decline for a fourth year. The forecast for the eight largest exporters worldwide is more significant. With a four-year average of 61 MMT, this volume is estimated to be 55.744 MMT, declining for the sixth time in the last seven years which accounts for 21.1% of all stocks worldwide. In the crop year 2005–2006, this percentage was estimated to be as high as 48%.

It is noteworthy that the USDA reduced its forecast for Canada's carryout in 2022–2023 to 2.5 MMT while raising its forecast for Canadian exports by 1 MMT, to 26 MMT. In the USDA's initial projection for 2023–24, exports are projected to reach a record high of 27.5 MMT, while Canada's stocks are projected to grow modestly by 500,000 mt to 3.04 MMT, which is historically low. 

The current USDA prediction for the world's ending stockpiles in 2022–2023 is just 740,000 metric tons less than the May 2022 estimate. The USDA overestimated wheat global stocks in its initial May estimates in three of the previous five years, and the average May estimate for global stocks over the past five years has been 4.3 MMT higher than the most recent estimates. 

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