Northern Ag Network
posted on June 07, 2012 10:22 :: 535 Views
By Lindsay Calvert, DTN News Intern
CHICAGO (DTN) -- Private analytical firm Informa Economics on Wednesday raised its forecast for the U.S. winter wheat harvests amid faster-than-normal crop development and well-above-average government condition ratings.
Informa pegged the U.S. winter wheat harvest at 1.676 billion bushels, up 1.2% from its May forecast, but down 1.1% from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest forecast, traders said.
Production of hard red winter wheat was projected at 1.014 billion bushels, up 1.3% from the firm's May forecasts, but down from 18 million bushels from USDA's May estimate. Production of soft red winter wheat was seen at 426 million bushels, up 1.2% from the firm's prior estimate, but down three million from USDA's May forecast.
White wheat production is forecast to total 236 million bushels, 2.5 million above USDA's May forecast but 20 million below last year.
Wheat development was notably faster than normal during May, with hard red wheat conditions rated above average since March, while conditions declined in the last several weeks as the crop nears harvest, traders said Informa said in the report. Soft red wheat's condition has also had a better-than-average rating for the vast majority of the growing season, peaking in early April at a level above the 10-year range. Winter white wheat has been rated the highest of all wheat classes remaining well-above average for the entire year and even above the 10-year range for several consecutive weeks, traders said Informa reported.
Hard red winter wheat is milled into flour used to make bread, and soft red winter wheat is used to make pastries and snack foods.
The government is slated to update its production forecasts next week.
SOUTH AMERICAN CROPS Informa forecast Brazil's 2011/12 soybean production at 66.4 million tons, above USDA's latest estimate of 65 million.
The firm pegged Brazil's corn crop at 67.5 million metric tons, above USDA's May estimate of 67 million.
For Argentina, Informa estimated 2011-12 soybean production at 40 million metric tons, below USDA's May estimate of 42.5 million. Informa estimated the Argentine corn crop at 20 million tons, below the USDA's latest forecast of 21.5 million.
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