U.S. wheat prices may drop as low as $5.90 per bushel before the end of December, according to trade analysts, as the second-largest harvest on record grows stockpiles and eases shortages.
Prices have already fallen 21%, reaching $6.24 per bushel in Chicago. Supplies in the 12 months ending June 30 are expected to grow by 5% to 684 million metric tons — the highest in a decade. In 2010, a 47% rise in prices led farmers to plant more grain, while Russia and Ukraine recovered from drought that ruined their crops. Harvests are also rising in Canada and Kazakhstan, which were hard-hit by bad weather. Wheat demand is expected to expand to 22 million tons, compared to a previous 3 million tons, but stockpiles will still grow to 202 million tons, according to the International Grains Council.
In conjunction with the larger stocks is a predicted increase in wheat-feed use, according to the IGC. Farmers will use up to 124.2 million tons of wheat in their animal feed, a 9% gain and the highest level in about 20 years, as corn prices remain high. Rabobank predicts an even higher possibility, 129.5 million tons.