U.S. wheat imports reach 6-year high
U.S. wheat imports are forecast at their highest in 6 years for the 2023/24 marketing year (July–June). Consecutive years of drought in key U.S. growing regions of hard red winter wheat, an ingredient used for making bread, Asian noodles, and flour, have tapered U.S. output, elevating domestic prices. Millers have sought less expensive sources, including competitively priced wheat from the European Union (EU). U.S. imports of hard red winter wheat, mostly from the EU, for 2023/24 are at 25 million bushels, a record high, and up from 5 million bushels from 2022/23. This trade flow is atypical. U.S. wheat imports are normally driven by hard red spring and durum wheat from neighboring Canada. In 2017/18, imports from Canada of both classes of wheat were elevated because of drought-related supply issues in the United States. While U.S. imports of hard red winter wheat are elevated in 2023/24, imports of soft red winter and white wheat are relatively close to normal levels. Related to tight supplies of this hard red winter wheat in 2023/24, U.S. exports of this class of wheat are forecast at their lowest level on record. This chart is drawn from the November 2023 Wheat Outlook, published by USDA, Economic Research Service.
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