WASHINGTON (B)--Despite a slight increase in the September forecast for 2000-01 U.S. wheat exports to 1.125 billion bushels from 1.1 billion in August, United States Department of Agriculture forecast a rise in U.S. wheat ending stocks in 2000-01 to 976 million bushels from 962 million in August.

USDA, in its monthly supply and demand report, raised its U.S. wheat harvest forecast for 2000-01 to 2.3 billion bushels from August's projection of 2.26 billion, with projected 2000-01 wheat yield up at 42.3 bushels per acre from August's forecast of 41.6 bushels.

Forecasts of U.S. wheat prices for 2000-01 remain unchanged at $2.25 to 2.75 per bushel.

The forecast increase in U.S. wheat output is expected to contribute to higher forecasts for world wheat stocks in 2000-01, according to USDA. The September forecast pegs the world wheat harvest at 583 million tonnes up from 581 million projected in August.

In addition to a greater U.S. harvest, USDA expects greater wheat output from Russia and Eastern European states. Lower wheat output for 2000-01 is forecast from Brazil, Canada, the EU and Uzbekistan.

Because increased imports by countries such as Brazil are expected to be offset by increased wheat output in countries like the United States, USDA forecast that world ending stocks for 2000-01 will rise slightly to 113.6 million tonnes from 113.3 million projected in August.

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