The 2011-2012 outlook for U.S. wheat calls for reduced supplies with lower carry-in and production than in 2010-2011, says USDA’s May 11 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates(WASDE) report. Beginning stocks for 2011-2012 are down 14% from 2010-2011, but remain the second highest in a decade. All-wheat production is projected at 2.04 billion bushels, down 7% from 2010-2011.

The survey-based forecast of winter wheat production is down 4%, as lower expected harvested area and yields in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas sharply reduce hard red winter (HRW) wheat production. Partly offsetting is higher production of soft red winter (SRW) wheat with a rebound in area and higher forecast yields.

Spring-wheat production is expected to be lower despite higher expected planted area for other spring wheat. A return to trend yields from record levels of the previous two years is expected to reduce durum and other spring wheat production. U.S. wheat supplies for 2011-2012 are projected at 2.99 billion bushels, down 9% from 2010-2011.

Total U.S. wheat use for 2011-2012 is projected down 7%, as lower projected exports more than offset higher expected domestic use. Food use is projected at 945 million bushels, up 15 million from 2010-2011, as flour extraction rates are expected to decline modestly from their historical highs during the past three years and consumption grows slightly driven by slowly rising population.

Feed and residual use is projected at 220 million bushels, up 50 million from last year’s projection as higher corn prices and a rebound in SRW production encourage more summer quarter wheat feeding. U.S. exports are projected at 1.05 billion bushels, down 225 million. Export prospects are sharply diminished with reduced HRW production and increasing competition as Black Sea production and exports are projected to rebound.

U.S. ending stocks are expected to continue their decline from the recent high in 2009-2010. At a projected 702 million bushels, 2011-2012 ending stocks are expected down 137 million from last year and 274 million below 2009-2010. The season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at a record $6.80-8.20/bu., compared with $5.65 for 2010-2011.

Global wheat supplies for 2011-2012 are projected 1% higher as a projected 25.9-million-ton increase in foreign production more than offsets lower beginning stocks and the drop in U.S. production. At the projected 669.6 million tons, global production for 2011-2012 would be up 21.4 million from 2010-2011.