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USDA lowers estimate of wheat production

USDA lowered its estimate of production for the U.S. wheat crop by 59 million bushels from last month — from 1.87 billion bushels to 1.81 billion bushels — based on lower forecasted yield for winter wheat. Ending stocks were lowered 32 million bushels to 416 million bushels.

Wheat feed and residual use was lowered to an estimated 25 million bushels, and seed use was raised 2 million bushels.

USDA's assessment of crop production for the following crops is based on acreage estimates from USDA's March 31 Prospective Plantings report. The estimates are highly tentative.

U.S. cotton production is estimated at 20.7 million bales, unchanged from last month. Domestic mill use was reduced 3.5 percent to 5.6 million bales, reflecting lost capacity from the recent closing of a major mill. Projected exports were raised 300,000 bales to 16.8 million bales, due to an increase in exportable supplies.

China's cotton production estimate was reduced 500,000 bales from last month based on lower forecast area. Global ending stocks are now projected at 47.09 million bales, down from last month's 47.42 million bales. For 2005-06, world production was raised about 700,000 bales.

USDA's U.S. rice production estimate for this year is unchanged at 205 million hundredweight, based on plantings of 2.97 million acres and an average yield of 6,947 pounds. Global 2006-07 rice production is projected at a record 417.5 million tons, up 500,000 from last month. World consumption is projected at a record 424.8 million tons, up 1.6 million tons from last month. Ending stocks are projected at 60 million tons, down nearly 2 million tons from last month.

U.S. soybean production is projected at 3.08 billion bushels, unchanged from last month. Ending stocks were increased 5 million bushels to 570 million bushels.

Higher yields in Brazil and increased area for Argentina will help push South American production to a record 105 million tons, up 3 million tons from 2005-06. The Brazilian crop is projected at 56 million tons. Argentina soybean production is projected at a record 41.3 million tons.

Global production of high-oil content seed is down 4 percent due to lower rapeseed and sunflowerseed production. Rapeseed production is projected lower for Canada and India, and production for EU-25 and China are projected almost unchanged from 2005-06.

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