2016 US wheat harvest expected to shrink

The US wheat crop could be the lowest since 2006, according to a report by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Assuming normal conditions, the drop would chiefly be due to the lowest area being planted by farmers for six years, with the area planted with hard red winter wheat down 9% and soft red winter wheat down 5%.

However, US wheat stocks are expected to rise 25% over the 2015/16 period, up to over 25Mt, which should offset the predicted drop in this year’s harvest and ensure availability will be similar to its current level.

Helen Plant, senior analyst at AHDB Market Intelligence, said: “A US wheat crop of around 50Mt would still mean availability similar to this season ¬ in 2006 the US harvested 49.2Mt. Put another way, there would need to be a larger fall in spring wheat plantings and/or below-average growing and harvest conditions for US wheat availability to fall.

“However, it may well be that certain classes of US wheat see a fall in availability. Stocks of hard red winter (HRW), the largest class by output, are expected to grow by 45% over this season to the highest level since 1999/00. Hard red spring (HRS) wheat stocks are also forecast to increase by 27%. In contrast, soft red winter (SRW) wheat stocks are expected to grow by a more modest 7%.”

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