Some Interesting Facts About Wheat Production

Published on: 08:48AM May 03, 2010
  1. Kansas State University has a site called ag manager info and there is always some interesting tidbits that they have on the site.  They recently posted an article on the world wheat market supply and demand trends.  I thought I would recap the article with what I found interesting.

For the current year, total acres planted to wheat is estimated at about 557 million acres or over 870 thousand square miles.  This acreage is about the size of Greenland. Since the study started in 1987-88, the average acres in production has decreased by about 1 million acres annually.

The 10  largest wheat production areas produced on average about 80% of the world's total wheat production.  The top 5 areas (in acreage terms) were:

  1. Russia - 71 million acres (slightly smaller than Arizona)
  2. India - 69 million acres (about the size of Colorado)
  3. European Union - 63 million acres (about the size of Oregon)
  4. China - 59 million acres (slightly larger than Idaho)
  5. United States - 49 million acres (about the size of Minnesota)

I always thought that Canada was a large producer, however, the country of Kazakhstan has almost twice the acreage in wheat production as does Canada.

The highest average yields per acre are:

  1. European Union (76.9 bu/acre), increasing about 1 bu per year,
  2. China (65.0 bu/acre), increasing by 2.2 bu per year.

United States yield is about 41.6 bu/ac with it increasing by about 1 bu per year.

Total wheat production by the top 5 countries are as follows:

  1. European Union - 5.1 billion bushels
  2. China - 4.2 billion bushels
  3. India - 3.0 billion bushels
  4. Russia - 2.3 billion bushels
  5. United States - 2.2 billion bushels

Even though the United States is the 5 largest producer of wheat, it is the largest exporter of wheat and the top 5 exporters are as follows:

  1. United States - 1.1 billion bushels (50% of production)
  2. European Union - 705 million bushels (14% of production)
  3. Russia - 600 million bushels (26% of production)
  4. Australia - 450 million bushels (55% of production)

Canada exports about 67% of its production.

The top importer of Wheat is North Africa at about 610 million bushels, with the Middle East, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and East Asia next.

Another interesting fact is that China has by far the largest ending wheat stocks at about 1.8 billion bushels.  The United States is the next largest at about 635 million bushels.  China is at about 47% of total ending stocks, while their historical trend is about 30%.

I always find this information interesting and I hope you find something of interest in the data.