Estimating Wheat Supply and Use
Estimating the supply and use of U.S. wheat is a joint effort of several agencies of USDA's wheat Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee (ICEC). Through the ICEC, USDA estimates supply and use variables for each of the five U.S. classes of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, white, and durum. These estimates are published monthly in World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), and changes in the estimates from month to month are explained in ERS' monthly Wheat Outlook. For more information on the process, see USDA outlook process.
The general framework for these estimates is provided below, as are details on estimation of wheat food use/trade and the sources of information used. For data on food use and trade, see the Food Use and Exports and Imports sections in Wheat Data: Yearbook Tables.
The U.S. supply of wheat is the sum of carry-in stocks (the ending stocks of the preceding period), production, and imports for each of the five classes:
- Carry-in stocks estimates, both on and off farm, for total wheat (five classes of wheat) and for durum wheat are provided quarterly by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Durum stocks are subtracted from all wheat stocks to get a subtotal indicating what wheat ICEC can allocate to the remaining four classes of wheat.
- Production estimates for each of the five classes are provided by NASS seven times per year.
- Import estimates for each class of wheat are made by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) and then vetted by the wheat ICEC.
Estimating the use of wheat by class begins with the supply estimates. Estimates for food and seed uses, exports, and ending stocks are subtracted from estimated supply to derive feed and residual use:
- food use
- seed use
- ending stocks
- feed and residual use
- Food Use estimates for each class of wheat are made by ERS and then vetted by the wheat ICEC.
- Seed Use estimates for each class of wheat are estimated by ERS and then vetted by the wheat ICEC at multiple points during the marketing year and in connection with the release of USDA NASS’s Prospective Plantings and Acreage reports.
- Export estimates for each class of wheat are made by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) and then vetted by the wheat ICEC.
- Ending Stocks estimates, both on- and off-farm, for total wheat (all five classes of wheat) and for durum wheat are provided by NASS. Durum stocks are subtracted from all wheat stocks to get a subtotal that the wheat ICEC can allocate across the remaining four classes of wheat. The endings stocks for one period are the carry-in stocks for the following period.
- Feed and Residual Use is calculated to ensure that ending stocks are consistent with total supply and known uses of wheat for export, seed, and food. The estimate includes both feed use and a residual that accounts for errors made in estimating the other variables.