WASDE: US wheat stocks higher, Indonesia world’s biggest buyer

8 Feb 2018 | Tom Houghton

Markets fell in the wake of a bearish WASDE, with higher US ending stocks and lower exports weighing further on a market which fundamentally remains well-supplied around the world.

US domestic ending stocks just about scraped in at the upper end of a range of analysts’ expectations prior to the release and 2% above the average guess, increasing to 1.01 billion bushels from 989 million bushels.

Lower exports estimates were the primary driver of higher carryover stocks, with the USDA expecting foreign sales 680,000 mt lower than in January at 25.86 million mt.

The market’s initial reaction to a higher carryover was negative, with front month Chicago SRW contract down 2% from the morning’s open in the minutes after the report’s release, erasing a large chunk of Wednesday’s gains.

Around the world, the USDA adjusted its forecast for Russian exports up by 1 million mt to 36 million mt, with its ending stocks reduced by 1 million mt to 15.33 million mt.

Argentina was increased 600,000 mt to 12.5 million mt, and Pakistan was up 400,000 mt to 1 million mt.

EU sales, meanwhile, were revised down 1 million mt to 27 million mt, with ending stocks 500,000 mt higher at 13.12 million mt.

There was a first on the import side, with the WASDE explaining “Indonesia is now the leading global wheat importer, surpassing Egypt, the traditional leader.”

“Total world consumption is projected 3.1 million tons higher, primarily on greater usage from Indonesia and China,” the report said.

Total South East Asian imports were increased 1 million mt to 27 million mt, with Chinese consumption increased 1 million mt to 117 million mt.