“There is no question this is an opportunity for us and we’re going to take advantage of it,” said Tom Vilsack, US agriculture secretary, on Wednesday.
The US wheat belt extends from Texas and Kansas to Montana and North Dakota.
US wheat futures jumped more than 5 per cent to $7.34½ a bushel, although they remained below the two-year peak of $8.41 hit last week in the aftermath of Russia’s decision to ban exports.
The USDA cut its forecast for global wheat output by a hefty 2.3 per cent to 645.7 million tons in its closely watched monthly report, but said the world was not facing a repetition of the 2007-08 food crisis. There was “no global shortage of food grains”, it said.
The boom for US farmers is lifting the outlook for the country’s agribusiness companies. Shares in Archer Daniels Midland , the trading house, have rallied 15 per cent since mid-June. John Deere, the manufacturer of tractors and combines, is up 10 per cent, while Monsanto and DuPont , which sell seeds, have also risen.
Falling wheat production outside the US would make the country’s crop “competitive in key Middle East and North Africa markets”, the USDA said.
The region imports about a quarter of the world’s cereal, and countries such as Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat buyer, have already made large purchases of US wheat.
The USDA raised its forecast for international wheat sales from the US by 20 per cent to 32.6 million tons.