December 17, 2004
US Wheat Exports Decline
Total US wheat export sales have fallen just five percent from last year to a total of 19 million metric tons (MMT), according to today's USDA export sale report.
Export sales had been running ahead of last year, until late November. If USDA projections of total US wheat exports of 27.2 MMT hold true, then sales will run below that of last year's throughout the rest of the marketing year.
While export sales overall are only slightly lower than last year, the 2004/05 marketing year changes are quite dramatic on a class basis.
Export year-to-date sales of hard red spring (HRS) are up 23 percent from last year to 5.7 MMT, partly due to purchases of 897 thousand metric tons (TMT) by China.
Strong sales are also reported thus far for US white wheat, with year-to-date export sales of 3.7 MMT, up 12 percent from last year. The increase is due in part to China's new purchases of this class of wheat.
Total sales of durum (416 TMT) and hard red winter (6.5 MMT) are 45 percent and 24 percent below last year's year-to-date sales respectively. Lower durum sales to Venezuela account for some of this change.
US wheat year-to-date sales of hard red winter (HRW) wheat are 6.5 MMT, down 24 percent from last year this time. While HRW year-to-date sales are higher to many key markets like Mexico, Central America and North Asia, sales to Egypt are 80 percent below last year. The drop is due to increased competition from Russia and, most recently, Argentina.