* Analysts say wheat stocks could run short as early as
* Asian consumers may have to source wheat from other
* Would likely have to pay higher shipping costs
* But impact on global prices would be limited as other
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY, Jan 10 Australian wheat stocks will
likely run low as early as mid-July due to strong exports from
the world's No. 2 largest seller, traders and analysts said,
possibly pushing some customers in Asia to look elsewhere for
The pace of Australian wheat exports has been strong with
sellers keen to front-load sales before harvests in the United
States and Canada provide competition.
"I would say that we will have a higher proportion of
exports in the January to May period than normal," said Brian
Dalitz, group general manager for trading and marketing at
Emerald Trading Group.
Stocks will also be hurt as the country in December trimmed
its wheat production forecast for the current marketing year by
2.3 percent from its previous estimate to 22.03 million tonnes.
A shortage of supply from Australia may force nations such
as Indonesia and South Korea, typically the largest buyers of
Australian wheat, to source the grain from elsewhere, incurring
higher freight costs.
Though market participants played down the potential affect
on global prices, as they expect international supply to pick
"We may get real pressure on Australia's ability to keep
exporting late into the marketing year, but the impact on the
international market may be limited because of available
supplies coming in elsewhere, though the Asian markets may have
to pay a little more to cover the additional freight," said
Malcolm Bartholomaeus, senior commodities analyst at Profarmer.
Global wheat stocks remain tight following droughts in Black
Sea region, though concerns over significant shortfalls in
production have eased slightly in recent months.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures have dropped
nearly 14 percent since the end of August amid expectations of
bumper U.S. winter production.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)