February 11, 2015
China seen to become world's 2nd-largest wheat producer
Global production of wheat for 2014/15 is projected to hit a new record, with China dethroning India as the world's second-largest producer of the grain, according to the latest grain market and trade report released Tuesday by the US Department of Agriculture.
Projected output is raised for Argentina, Kazakhstan, the EU, Turkey and Ukraine.
According to the USDA projections, the European Union is set to become the top wheat producer with expected production of 146.250 million metric tonnes, followed by China, which is also the world's largest wheat consumer, with projected output of 124 million metric tonnes; and India, 95.85 million metric tonnes.
The rest of the projected top 10 wheat producers in 2014/15 are Russia with expected production of 53 million metric tonnes; the US, 52.847 million metric tonnes; Canada, 28.5 million metric tonnes; Australia, 25.5 million metric tonnes; Pakistan, 24.5 million metric tonnes; Ukraine, 20 million metric tonnes; and Turkey, 15 million metric tonnes.
The USDA report said global trade is nearly unchanged with import cuts predicted for Bangladesh, Brazil, Turkey, and increases for Egypt, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.
Australian and US projected exports are cut but those of Brazil and the EU are raised, it said.
US wheat exports to Brazil are expected to drop significantly in 2014/15 compared with last year due to competition from traditional South American suppliers including Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay--which recently harvested larger crops and are expected to export more to Brazil. Brazil itself has record production, and imports are forecast to be slightly lower than last year. Mercosur exporters have freight and logistical advantages in addition to tariff-free access to Brazil. Mercosur refers to the subregional bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Other exporters including the US are subject to a 10% import duty.
According to the report, wheat exports of Australia and the US are each projected to decrease by 500,000 metric tonnes to 17.5 million and 25.0 million metric tonnes, respectively.
Brazilian exports would be up 500,000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes in light of recent large shipments of lower-quality wheat.
EU exports would be boosted by 1 million tonnes to 31 million tonnes due to the recent surge of sales to Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The EU, according to the report, is now the most competitive supplier to the Middle East and North Africa.
Bangladesh's projected imports are lowered 300,000 tonnes to 3.3 million tonnes on a slower-than-expected shipment pace.
Brazil's are trimmed 300,000 tonnes to 6.7 million as shipments have been below historical levels over the last several months.
US imports are cut 500,000 tons to 4.2 million on slow shipments to date.
Egypt, the world's top wheat import, is raised 500,000 tonnes to 10.5 million on continued large purchases.