U.S. wheat exports ended 2005 at the same level as last year, despite USDA forecasts for less sales in marketing year 2005/06, according to the U.S. Wheat Associates.
As of their last 2005 export sales report, USDA reported commitments of 19.825 million metric tons, compared to 19.823 MMT at the same time last year. USDA is currently forecasting 2005/06 U.S. wheat exports at 27.22 MMT, a 6% drop from 2004/05.
Nigeria leads the world in U.S. wheat purchases, buying 2.55 MMT so far, up 57% from this point last year. Japan is coming in slightly behind Nigeria, at 2.25 MMT, very close to their sales pace last year. Iraq is the third largest U.S. wheat customer, purchasing 2.13 MMT compared to only 160,000 metric tons at the same time in 2004. Other markets buying more than a million tons of U.S. wheat include Mexico (1.8 MMT), the Philippines (1.29 MMT) and the EU (1.27 MMT).
Sales of hard red winter wheat continue to look outstanding so far, coming in 27% ahead of last year. Durum sales are also up 27%. Sales of hard red spring wheat are holding steady, only 1% behind last year's pace, with increased purchases from Venezuela, Japan and the EU making up for the large drop off in sales to China. With fewer sales to Egypt, China and Pakistan, white wheat exports are down 17%. Soft red winter wheat exports have made up a little ground from the 60% deficit earlier this year, although sales are still down by 46%. Mexico is the leading SRW importer, followed by Nigeria.