Falling wheat output and rising corn demand seen tightening grains supplies in 2018-19 – IGC


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Falling wheat output and rising corn demand will fuel a decline in world grain supplies to their tightest compared with consumption since 2013-14, the International Grains Council (IGC) said in its latest report.

In its initial forecast for 2018-19, the IGC forecast ending stocks of wheat and coarse grains of 560 million tonnes, down 46 million, or 8 per cent from 606 million tonnes in 2017-18.

Total grains production in 2018-19 is estimated at 2.087 billion tonnes, down from 2.092 billion in 2017-18. Consumption, meanwhile, is forecast at 2.134 billion tonnes, up from 2.109 billion tonnes in 2017-18.

Corn production in 2018-19 is expected to edge upward by 7 million tonnes in the new crop year to 1.052 billion tonnes, but consumption is forecast at 1.094 billion tonnes, up 20 million tonnes from 1.074 billion tonnes in 2017-18.

Global wheat production in 2018-19 is forecast at 741 million tonnes, down 2.2 per cent from the year before. Consumption is forecast a bit higher, at 744 million tonnes compared with 742 million tonnes a year ago.

  • Total grains production is forecast to be down y/y in both 2017/18 and 2018/19
  • After four successive expansions, grains stocks are predicted to post consecutive falls, mainly on reductions for maize
  • Record shipments of wheat and maize contribute to a forecast fresh peak for global trade in 2018/19.
  • Amid tentative expectations for area gains in key producers, 2018/19 soyabean output could recover to a new high. But with consumption trending upward, inventories may tighten.
  • Given tighter supplies in key exporters, coupled with firmer prices, rice plantings could expand in 2018/19, as production edges up to a record

Soybean production in 2018-19 is forecast at 354 million tonnes, up from 341 million tonnes in 2017-18, while consumption also is forecast higher, at 358 million tonnes, which compares with 347 million tonnes a year ago.

Rice production in 2018-19 is forecast at 492 million tonnes, up from 486 million tonnes in 2017-18. Rice consumption also is forecast higher, at 491 million tonnes, against 487 million tonnes in 2017-18.

Due to an upgrade for India, the world 2017/18 rice output forecast is raised by 2 million tonnes, to 486 million, fractionally lower year on year, the IGC said.

“The net increase in supplies is channelled to a higher figure for use, leaving carryovers broadly steady m/m. Consistent with a revision for the prior year, trade in 2018 is boosted to about 46 million tones,” it said.

Production could expand in 2018/19 on area gains in exporters, while consumption is seen edging higher, with stocks rising fractionally year on year. Trade is anticipated to remain elevated in 2019 on firm buying interest from Africa and Asia, the report added.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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