With increased supplies of competing origin wheat and the end of Russia’s government-imposed export ban, U. S. commercial wheat sales for marketing year 2011/12 (June-May) have declined this year compared to last, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Purchases by Egypt that are running nearly 880 thousand metric ton (TMT) less than in 2010/11 account for more than the overall reduction in total sales in 2011/12 compared to 2010/11.

However, the global sales pace and forecast for the year remain above the five-year average, indicating continued value in a reliable supply of excellent quality U.S. wheat.

As of Aug. 18, 2011, sales totaled 11.1 million metric tons (MMT), down four percent from this time last year and one percent below the five-year average of 11.2 MMT.

Changes in regional sales vary widely; many region totals were affected by significant changes in exports to one country. In fact, several regions are purchasing more U.S. wheat this year compared to 2010/11.

With Black Sea wheat back on the market, Egypt has again diversified its sources compared to last year when Russia abandoned the world's largest buyer.

The Middle East/East Africa region’s U.S. wheat purchases of 1.17 MMT is 21 percent below last year’s pace.