The USDA's March release of the Wheat Outlook report showed that projected 2011/2012 world wheat production is up 1.1 million tons this month to 694.0 million, further raising the historical record. In Australia, 2011/12 production is up 1.2 million tons to 29.5 million this month, and up 1.6 million tons on the previous year’s record.

The harvest in Australia is virtually complete. The increase reflects the latest estimates of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), a research bureau within the Australian Department of Agriculture, which took stock of near-perfect conditions throughout the growing season in Western Australia (WA).

Record wheat yields and production in WA are the main drivers behind the country’s new record. Compared to the previous drought-stricken year, wheat output in WA in 2011/12 more than doubled, increasing by 135 percent, and is almost double the 5-year average. Abundant growing-season precipitation in the eastern States generated very high yields in that part of the country as well (second record yields in New South Wales and South Australia); however, heavy rainfall lasted through harvest time and resulted in reportedly lower wheat quality.

Several other small production changes reflect official revisions and are offsetting. Mongolian wheat production is up 0.2 million tons to 0.4 million, while wheat output in Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan are down 0.1 million tons each, to 1.1 and 0.8 million, respectively.

Lower 2011/12 global beginning stocks completely offset this month’s production increase. The lion’s share of a 1.2-million-ton decline in beginning stocks comes from China, where 2011/12 wheat beginning stocks are down 1.0 million tons as a result of an upward revision to 2010/11 food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use.

Beginning stocks are also down in Bangladesh by 0.2 million tons, as well as in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan, down 0.1 million tons each. An increase in beginning stocks for Paraguay, up 0.25 million tons, is partly offsetting. All changes in beginning stocks result from 2010/11 wheat production adjustments. A tiny change in beginning stocks is made for South Korea.