Due mostly to cooperative weather, world wheat production prospects for marketing year 2013/14 (June to May) continue to be upgraded.

In its most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report released on Aug. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased expected world wheat production by 7.6 million metric tons (MMT) to 705.0 MMT.

If realized, this would be the largest world wheat output on record and help restock world supply diminished by low production a year ago.

The world wheat supply forecast remains the single most important factor in risk management and wheat buyers should continue to pay close attention to it.

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Following is a short summary of wheat crop conditions and outlook for each of the world’s major wheat exporters.

United States

USDA puts total U.S. production at 57.5 MMT, higher than previously forecast but 7 percent lower than last year and below the five-year average of 60.9 MMT. Winter wheat harvest is nearly complete and average yield will be better than expected in many areas.

Final abandonment rates are expected to be high due to earlier drought conditions, offsetting higher overall wheat plantings. Although the crop is smaller than average, there should be sufficient high-quality supplies from each class of winter wheat. Soft red winter (SRW) production will likely be the second largest on record at 14.8 MMT, up from the five-year average of 11.6 MMT.


In its Aug. 21 report, Statistics Canada projected a 13 percent wheat production increase from last year to 30.6 MMT. If realized, it would be the fourth largest crop on record and the biggest since 1991/92 when Canada harvested 31.9 MMT.

Cool temperatures in July and early August protected the crop during its vulnerable growth stages and warmer temperatures in mid-August accelerated crop development. Both better yield and greater harvested area will contribute to the increased output.

European Union

In spite of a long winter and an unusually hot summer, European Union (EU) analysts report lower than expected crop damage and an improved production outlook. Harvest data is limited to date but analyst Strategie Grains increased its EU production forecast this month to 142.4 MMT, a 7 percent increase from last year and the largest total since 2008/09, if realized.