- Strengths and Limitations
- Recommended Citation
- Users' Guide
This data product contains statistics on wheat—including the five classes of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, white, and durum—and rye. Included are data published in the monthly Wheat Outlook and previous editions of the annual Wheat Yearbook. Descriptive information about the five classes of wheat and U.S. wheat production and use is available in the Wheat Sector at a Glance of the Wheat topic.
Key variables in the Wheat Data set include:
- U.S. and World Supply and Disappearance
- Food Use
- Domestic and International Prices
- U.S. Export and Import Data
- Flour Production and Prices
Data for U.S. production, supply and disappearance, food use, stocks, prices, imports, and exports are presented by marketing years. The local marketing year for U.S. wheat and rye is June 1–May 31. Marketing years may be written to include both calendar years. For example, 2005/06 refers to the marketing year beginning June 1, 2005, and ending May 31, 2006. Flour production, supply and disappearance, and price data are presented by calendar years.
The international trade year for wheat is July 1–June 30. July 1 approximates the wheat harvest in many Northern Hemisphere countries. USDA estimates wheat imports and exports for all countries in the Production, Supply, and Distribution (PS&D) database on a country's local marketing year and the international trade year. Putting all countries on the same 12-month year facilitates analysis of competition and market share. For some countries, like Russia and the European Union, the local marketing year and trade year are the same. Countries in the Southern Hemisphere have a local marketing year that is different from the international trade year. Marketing year information by country is in the “Data Availability” link on the PS&D database website.
Several units of measure are used in this data product. Here are a few useful conversion factors:
- 1 bushel of wheat = 60 pounds or 77.2 kilograms/hectoliter
- 1 metric ton = 2,204.622 pounds
- Bushels x 0.0272155 = metric tons
- Metric tons x 36.7437 = bushels
- Price per bushel x 36.7437 = price per metric ton
- Price per metric ton x 0.0272155 = price per bushel
- 1 acre = 0.4047 hectares
- 1 hectare = 2.4710 acres
- Bushels/acre x 0.06725 = metric tons/hectare
- Metric tons/hectare x 14.87 = bushels/acre
Estimating the supply and disappearance of U.S. wheat is a joint effort of several agencies of USDA's Wheat Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee (ICEC). Through the wheat ICEC, USDA estimates supply and use variables for each of the five U.S. classes of wheat. These estimates are published monthly in World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and the Wheat Data product. Month-to-month changes in the estimates are explained in the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) monthly Wheat Outlook. Some of the Wheat Data tables display calculations pertaining to individual attributes, such as food use, exports, and imports. Other attributes, such as stocks and feed and residual, are provided in the supply and utilization tables, but not shown separately.
- For the 2007/08 marketing year, the Durum export estimate (shown in Yearbook tables 6 and 11) reflects unresolved discrepancies between the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) data (shown in Yearbook table 22) and data collected by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service under the export sales reporting system.
Monthly USDA, ERS wheat and wheat product import and export estimates are made by ERS using monthly trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of the Census. These monthly import and export estimates include both food and feed traded items. ERS also provides monthly by-class wheat trade estimates.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes provided by the Census Bureau are not uniformly reported by class outside of Durum. Methods were developed to convert the all-wheat data into by-class wheat data that are appropriate for inclusion in the associated balance sheets. This section summarizes and gives examples of methods for estimating by-class wheat imports and exports. HTS codes are revised each year in January; this page will be updated to reflect any new codes.
Converting Census Bureau Data to Grain-Equivalent Bushels
The monthly estimates of U.S. wheat exports and imports are each the sum of associated wheat grain, wheat flour, and selected wheat products. The flour and wheat products include food and animal feed items. The Census Bureau trade data for grain, flour, and selected products are reported in metric tons (grain imports and exports) or kilograms (flour and products). Volume data for flour and selected products are converted to grain-equivalent kilograms—i.e., the quantity of wheat grain that would have to be milled to produce 1 kilogram of that flour or wheat product. Then, the grain and grain-equivalent data are converted to bushels. For details on the calculation of wheat imports, see Current wheat import conversion factors and by-class weightings.xlsx. Note that HTS codes are changed periodically. The preceding file pertains to all codes in use since January 2022. All previous HTS import codes, conversions, and weights can be found in Historical wheat import conversion factors and by-class weightings.xlsx. In order to convert wheat exports to wheat-grain equivalent, use the file Wheat export conversion factors.xlsx.
Below is an example calculation converting 1.0 million kilograms of Hard Spring Wheat flour (HTS code 1001000010) to grain-equivalent bushels:
- Converting kilograms of flour to grain-equivalent kilograms: 1,000,000 kilograms of flour × 1.36986 = 1,369,860 grain equivalent kilograms.
- Converting grain-equivalent kilograms to grain-equivalent pounds: 1,369,860 kilograms × 2.204622 pounds/kilogram = 3,020,023.493 pounds.
- Converting grain-equivalent pounds to grain-equivalent bushels: 3,020,023.493 pounds × 1 bushel/60 pounds = 50,334 bushels.
Estimating By-Class Wheat Imports
Wheat and wheat-product imports are allocated by Census Bureau category (HTS code) across the five classes using a fixed set of proportions. These can be found in the current wheat import conversions and by-class weightings file noted above. USDA, ERS consulted with industry representatives to develop these proportions. For example, the allocation of imports of bulgur (HTS code 1904300000) is made after converting the import data to grain-equivalent bushels. Then, 25 percent of these bushels are allocated to the Hard Red Winter wheat class and 75 percent to the Hard Red Spring wheat class.
Estimating By-Class Wheat Exports
Wheat exports are calculated differently than imports. Census Bureau export data are less detailed than import data, necessitating the use of proportional weights to determine wheat by class exports for non-Durum wheat. Detailed export codes are available for Durum; therefore, the grain and product export allocations for this class are taken directly from the converted Census Bureau data. The following export codes are fully allocated to Durum: 1001110000, 1001190000, 1103110020, 1902192000, 1902194000, and 1902400000. Below is an example of the method used to allocate non-Durum exports by class:
- Sum all the Census non-Durum grain and converted non-Durum flour and products (in grain-equivalent bushels). For example: 242 million bushels of non-Durum grain + 6 million grain-equivalent bushels of non-Durum flour + 2 million grain-equivalent bushels of non-Durum products = 250 million bushels.
- Sum export sales and donations for the four non-Durum classes and then calculate the proportion each class composes of the total found in Step 1. For more information on monthly export sales and donations download the Export sales and donations file.
- Multiply the sum from Step 1 by the proportions calculated in Step 2 to estimate the bushels exported for each of the four classes of wheat.
- For the 2007/08 marketing year, Durum exports shown in Yearbook Table 22 are those reported by the Census Bureau and differ from current USDA annual and quarterly estimates for the same periods. The current 2007/08 USDA Durum export estimate reflects unresolved discrepancies between Census Bureau data and data collected by the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service under the export sales reporting system.
- The by-class allocation for HTS code 1001990096 was changed to reflect changing trade patterns in imports from Canada. Previously 100 percent of the trade was allocated to Soft Red Winter (SRW), but now only 25 percent is allocated to that class, with the other 75 percent allocated to Hard Red Spring (HRS). Further detail on this change is provided in the August 2018 Wheat Outlook.
- The by-class allocation for HTS code 1001990097 was changed for marketing year 2023/24 to reflect growing wheat imports from the European Union. For only this marketing year and for only this code, imports are allocated 40 percent to Hard Red Winter, 45 percent to HRS, and 15 percent to SRW. This change—for only the 2023/24 marketing year—is described in the November 2023 Wheat Outlook.
- Periodically, the Census Bureau adds new HTS codes that need to be incorporated into the Wheat Data methods, which has occurred primarily for import codes. In many cases, new codes are added as older codes are phased out. The most recent code changes were documented in the April 2022 Wheat Outlook. The full description of all current codes is provided in the October 2022 Wheat Outlook. The previous documentation of methods, which included legacy codes, was published in the April 2019 Wheat Outlook.
Domestic food use of wheat must be estimated indirectly because no data are collected on actual consumption of wheat in the United States. Estimates are made monthly. The estimate is the sum of wheat milled for flour, net imports (imports minus exports) of flour and wheat products (only wheat products that are used for food), and nonflour wheat use (grain processed in some way other than milling).
Monthly estimates of all-wheat and Durum grain milled and flour and millfeed produced are calculated by USDA, ERS using quarterly data from USDA, National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS), Flour Milling Products report. Monthly food import and export estimates are a subset of the monthly wheat import and export estimates made by USDA, ERS using monthly trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Note that the flour and wheat products included in this food use calculation are only those that are used for food; products used for feed are excluded. For this reason, the import and export figures used in the food use calculation vary slightly from the complete flour and products categories detailed in the previous section. For a full list of the HTS codes applied for the import and export portion of the food use calculation, see the Excel file Food use trade codes.xlsx. Note that the same conversion factors are applied as discussed in the previous section. USDA, ERS estimates nonflour wheat use.
The formula for food use is:
Wheat ground for flour + food imports + nonmilled food use – food exports = food use
- Historical all-wheat food use data through the second quarter of 2011 were calculated with milling data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in its Flour Milling Products report. This report was not published from third quarter 2011 through second quarter 2014 and calculations were based on data from the North American Millers Association (NAMA). From third quarter 2014 onward, the data have been calculated based on the USDA, NASS Flour Milling Products report.
- The same change in sources for milling data also affected calculations for Durum food use. However, the data from NAMA did not explicitly separate Durum food use from all-wheat food use. For this reason, the Durum food use calculations from July 2011 through June 2014 are incomplete, reflecting only the trade component of the calculation. Official USDA Durum food use data are estimated during that time period.
- The milling data are released quarterly in February, May, August, and November. However, the trade component of food use is calculated every month. In months when milling data are not published, incomplete food use data will be reported for recent months.
- Nonmilled food use was assumed at 1.4 million bushels monthly starting in marketing year 1989/90. This was gradually increased to 2.0 million bushels monthly by the start of the marketing year 1995/96. This assumption of 2.0 million bushels monthly is still being used.
Stocks data are derived from the USDA, NASS Grain Stocks report, released quarterly. This report provides all-wheat and Durum stock levels. The level of stocks for the other four non-Durum classes are estimated based on geographical weighting of the stocks for the major States, combined with industry perspective and analyst judgment of the supply and demand fundamentals for each class.
USDA, ERS publishes by-class quarterly wheat balance sheets in addition to the marketing year totals published in the WASDE. The sheets are typically updated once a new quarter of data is finalized in February, May, August, and November. The publication timeline is driven by the food use statistics, which are updated following the release of the USDA, NASS, Flour Milling Products report. No additional forecasting is done beyond the current data. At other times of the year, the Wheat By-Class Quarterly is updated to account for revisions to previous quarters (usually stocks and trade). These data are available in spreadsheet form and in a downloadable CSV, which allows for easier analysis of trends in the data. This data product is made to match the quarterly all-wheat and by-class marketing year statistics presented in the USDA, ERS Wheat Data product.
Annual season-average price for all wheat, rye, and each of the five classes of wheat is based on monthly prices received by farmers weighted by monthly marketings. These prices are directly from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Prices. The season-average price for all wheat for the current marketing year is forecasted in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
The monthly average cash-bid prices for various classes and grades of wheat at principal U.S. wheat markets are calculated as the simple average of daily prices from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service My Market News. The monthly average market prices for Canada, Australia, and Argentina are calculated by the USDA, ERS based on daily prices from the International Grains Council.
- All data series published here are subject to the limitations in the underlying data. For this reason, some price series have blank entries for certain months when the data were not reported.
- The following series in Table 19 has been discontinued based on USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) no longer reporting the data: ‘No. 1 Hard Amber Durum’ quotation for Minneapolis – last data point February 2008; ‘No. 1 Dark Northern Spring’ for Chicago – both 13- and 14-percent protein series last data point June 2015.
- Also in Table 19, the Soft White, Ordinary protein series was no longer being reported in USDA, AMS data after July 2021, so a new series was added for Soft White, Maximum 10.5-percent protein. The new series is in place from June 2020 to present. If reporting on the previous ‘Ordinary’ protein series is re-established, then both prices will be published continuously in USDA, ERS data.
- Additionally in Table 19, based on data availability from USDA, AMS, the Soft Red Winter, Chicago series reports No. 1 Soft Red Winter for August 2020 to present. Historical data through July 2020 is No. 2 Soft Red Winter.
Estimates of annual flour supply and disappearance for all wheat and Durum are made by USDA, ERS using quarterly flour production data from the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Flour Milling and Products report from 2015 and prior from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Monthly import and export data for select flour and wheat products are also included in the estimates of flour supply and disappearance. Monthly trade statistics are calculated based on data from the Census Bureau. Per capita estimates of wheat flour disappearance (pounds of flour/person) are made using population data from the Census Bureau. The population series used is a calendar-year average of monthly estimates of residents plus Armed Forces overseas.
Wheat grain, flour, and byproduct prices and average flour extraction rates at Kansas City and Minneapolis are used to estimate quarterly and marketing year profitability in these two milling centers. The wheat milled in Kansas City is No. 1 Hard Red Winter, 13-percent protein, and the flour produced is bakers’ standard patent. The wheat milled in Minneapolis is No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14-percent protein, and the flour produced is spring standard patent. The mid-month flour wholesale prices are from Sosland Publishing Company's MarketFocus newsletter. The byproducts are middlings and bran. Monthly cash-bid grain prices and mid-month wholesale prices for the byproducts are from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
To calculate the profitability the following calculations are used:
- The cost of wheat is calculated by taking the price in each area and converting to $/cwt and then converting to wheat grain equivalent. For example, Kansas City, Hard Red Winter, 13-percent protein price is $8.00 per bushel. Dividing this by 0.6 converts to hundredweight $13.33 and then multiplying by 1.36986, which represents a 72-percent extraction rate from grain to flour price. This gives a quarterly grain price of $18.26/cwt.
- Wholesale price of bakery flour is a quarterly average of a mid-month price from Sosland Publishing Company’s Milling and Baking News Market Fax.
- Wholesale price of byproducts is calculated under the assumption of 50-50 millfeed distribution between bran and middlings. This is published in the AMS Feedstuffs report in metric tons and converted to hundredweight. This is also assuming that 1 pound of wheat results in 0.37 pounds of coproducts.
- Add both the middling and bran prices together and divide by 4,000 to convert to pounds.
- Take the converted pounds and multiply by 0.37 to get from wheat to coproducts and then multiply by 100 to get to hundredweight.
- Total wholesale price is Step 2 plus Step 3.
- Total wholesale price less cost of wheat is Step 4 minus Step 1.
- USDA, AMS stopped reporting the Minneapolis bran price in January 2015. This price series has been adjusted to use the Kansas City bran price instead from January 2015 through present. Also note that ‘bran’ as discussed here is defined by USDA, AMS as middlings delivered by truck. These shipments may contain bran but are not exclusively bran.
- The calendar years 2011 through 2014 are not reported in Tables 30 (Durum flour production) and 31 (Durum flour: supply and disappearance) due to missing flour milling data. This is the same data source change that affected the food use data. Flour milling data was reported by the Census Bureau until June 2011, then reported by USDA, NASS from July 2014 onward. Note that Tables 29 and 30 contain 2011 through 2014 data because NAMA data were available to replace the missing reporting for all-wheat flour production. Data specific to Durum flour production were not available from that source.
- Table 26 (U.S. wheat exports by class for selected destinations) is discontinued after 2013/14. Export data by class and destination is available either through the Agricultural Marketing Service or the Foreign Agricultural Service Export Sales Reporting system.
- Table 27 (U.S. wheat exports by selected Government programs) is discontinued after marketing year 2011/12. More recent data from 2017 through 2022 are available in USDA, AMS’ International Food Aid reports.
The USDA, ERS Wheat Data provides an overview for a wide variety of wheat-related data across multiple data sources and places them in one place for easy viewing. This is the only publicly available data set that presents the complete by-class quarterly balance sheet.
For price series such as Tables 18-20, the availability of these series depends on the availability of data from the sources (USDA, NASS; USDA, AMS; and International Grains Council).
The balance sheet does not showcase the changes in WASDE estimates each month. For monthly projections back to 2010 see the consolidated historical WASDE Report Data found on the WASDE webpage. Additionally, USDA, FAS has historical datasets available on the Production, Supply, and Distribution (PSD) Online website.
USDA, NASS provides descriptions of its Methodology and Quality Measures.
The Census Bureau website provides perspective on Sources of Non-Sampling Error in its trade data.
USDA, AMS covers procedures for Quality of Information on its website.
Nonmilled food use is a consistent 2 million bushels each month, an estimate held for nearly 30 years. Little data are available on this segment of industry, so this assumption has been continued.
- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance
- Wheat Outlook Report
- ERS Wheat Data Presentation at NASS Data Users Meeting
- USDA, ERS Wheat Data Training Webinar
- Amber Waves: New Visualization Tool Offers Interactive Ways to Explore Wheat Statistics
- Long-term Agricultural Baseline Projections
- International Macroeconomic Data Set
- Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System
- Food Price Outlook
- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
- Production, Supply and Distribution Online
- Grains: World Markets and Trade Report
- World Agricultural Production Report
- Farm Service Agency Crop Acreage Data
- Risk Management Agency Wheat Fact Sheets
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Wheat Data, [month and year of update].