US – World’s Major Food Supplier – Must Import Wheat to Fill Corn Gap

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
By Paul Martin

US wheat imports may rise to fill corn supply gap

Wheat imported from Australia and Europe – rather than home-grown grain – may fill a hole in American corn supplies, a leading analyst said on Monday, as investors continued to puzzle over controversial US crop data.

The US Department of Agriculture on Friday stunned markets by keeping its estimate for domestic corn supplies at the close of 2010-11 unchanged at 675m bushels, despite stocks at the half-way point falling 170m bushels short of expectations.

The estimate – which implies domestic corn use slumping from a record 7.2bn bushels in the first six months of 2010-11 to 4.4bn bushels in the second half – reflected a forecast that livestock farmers will, in the face of record corn prices, switch to US soft red winter wheat in feed rations.

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