USDA now expects record global wheat harvest

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) raised its forecast for the global wheat harvest 2022/23 last Friday (August 12) by 8 million tons to 779.6 million tons of wheat. That would be a new record, just surpassing the previous year’s volume of 779.2 million tons.

The Washington experts based their optimism primarily on the probable increase in wheat production in Russia, which is now seen at a peak quantity of 88 million tons and would thus exceed the previous year’s result by 12.8 million tons. Only 81.5 million tons of wheat were expected in July. According to updated estimates by the Russian statistical authority (Rosstat), Russian farmers have expanded wheat cultivation further than previously assumed. In addition, the yields were larger, it said.

The Washington ministry also raised its forecast for wheat production in Australia, by 3 million t to 33.0 million t, because the increasingly favorable weather conditions there meant that higher yields could be expected. In addition, China’s wheat harvest is now estimated at 138 million tons, which also corresponds to a premium of 3 million tons. Last year, farmers in the “Middle Kingdom” harvested 136.9 million tons of wheat.

EU harvest estimated lower

In contrast, Washington officials cut their estimate for EU wheat production by 2 million tonnes to 132.1 million tonnes – mainly due to weaker production in Hungary, Spain and Romania. This would mean that the previous year’s quantity of wheat would be missed by 6.2 million tons.

Meanwhile, international wheat futures markets reacted mixed to the new data. The Matif wheat future due in September 2022 closed at 6.30 p.m. last Friday at 339.75 euros/t, up 1.75 euros/t from the previous day’s settlement price, in line with the more pessimistic harvest forecast for the Union to. In contrast, the Chicago-traded contract for the same maturity fell 1.5% to $7.99/bu (288 euros/t).

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