Milling & Baking News - July 15, 2008 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS JULY 15, 2008 / FEATURE Prebiotic pros As consumer awareness of digestive health increases, opportunities for adding fiber to baked foods abound. Story on Page 19 LATE NEWS Spring wheat outturn up 6%, durum up 25% WASHINGTON - Production of U.S. spring wheat other than durum was forecast at 506,568,000 bus, up 6%, from 479,047,000 bus in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its July Crop Production report. The forecast consisted of 470,502,000 bus of hard red spring, up 5% from 2007, and 36,066,000 bus of white spring, up 20%. Durum production was forecast at 89,873,000 bus, up 25% from 71,686,000 bus in 2007 and up 68% from 53,475,000 bus in 2006. U.S.D.A. forecasts for spring wheat and durum were well above trade expectations. Winter wheat production was forecast at 1,864,245,000 bus, up 3% from Continued on Page 8 KANSAS CITY - While baking may not have expected a business effect from the Summer Olympic games, developments in Beijing are having a sudden and severe impact on the price and supply of a major additive ingredient for baking. Sellers of ascorbic acid, either as an individual ingredient or in blends, have been scrambling to secure adequate supplies in recent days in the wake of announcements by their suppliers, virtually all of whom are in Beijing, that production is being halted for a period of time. The closings are part of an effort to improve air quality in China ahead of the Olympics. High levels of pollution in Beijing have generated controversy. Despite a major effort, China has not yet met its pledges for air quality standards for the games. Haile Gebrselassie, the world-record holder in the marathon, has declared he will not compete in the marathon at the Continued on Page 12 AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS China air 'crisis' leaves ascorbic acid supplies tight, prices high China is halting production at many chemical plants to help clear the air for the Olympics. Wheat carryover smallest since 1948 but larger than expected WASHINGTON - The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 30 estimated stocks of wheat held in all positions in the United States on June 1, 2008, the beginning of the 2008-09 crop year, at 305,618,000 bus, down 150,535,000 bus, or 33%, from 456,153,000 bus a year earlier. The June 1 wheat stocks estimate was up nearly 52 million bus from the previous estimate of 254 million bus contained in the U.S.D.A.'s June "World Supply and Demand Estimates." Despite the increase in the carryover estimate, June 1 wheat stocks remained the smallest since 1948. The trade expected the increase in the carryover estimate, but most were surprised by how much larger the estimate was than U.S.D.A.'s June figure. Disappearance of wheat in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2007-08 was estimated at 403,652,000 bus, up 3,077,000 bus, or 1%, from 400,575,000 bus in MarchMay 2007. U.S. wheat disappearance for the entire crop year was estimated Continued on Page 14

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Milling & Baking News - July 15, 2008