Grain Group Cuts World Wheat Estimate

The 2006-2007 crop to drop to 588 million tons.

As traders await USDA's report this morning, the International Grains Council has released it's world estimate of wheat and corn production for the new marketing year. The organization pegs world wheat production at 588 million metric tons, which represents a slide from last month's forecast and a 30 million ton cut from last year's estimated harvest.

ICG did raise the world corn production estimate to 698 million tons, which is a 2-million-ton bump over last month's estimate.

The organization puts total world grain production at 1.572 billion tons. That's down 3 million tons from last month's estimate and 27 million tons below last season's estimated crop. Deteriorating conditions in key wheat production areas are the culprit that's taking tons off the production estimate.

For corn, the agency says the U.S. crop may offset lower production in Europe and forecasts U.S. corn output at 282 million tons in 2006-2007, which is an increase over last month's estimate of 278 million tons, and nearly unchanged from last year's production.

As for ending stocks, the group says world wheat ending stocks are at 116 million tons, down by 1 million tons from last month's and 19% from the previous marketing year.

The group notes European Union feed users are switching from wheat to lower priced barley and oilseed meals, which will cut wheat consumption. As for other wheat news, ICG pegs India's imports at 6.2 million tons, which is an increase from last month's forecast. They also estimate that Brazil will boost wheat imports.

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