Record global grains consumption drives stocks down – USDA

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Rising consumption of grains across the world is expected drive global stocks down despite increases in production of corn and rice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

For 2018/19, global corn production is projected up from last year due to larger crops in China, Brazil, and Argentina, it said in its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report.

The report said that global consumption would outpace production for the second consecutive year, as demand expands in China as well as for countries in South America.

Tighter world supplies of barley also underpin growth in global corn use, it added.

Trade is forecast higher boosted by greater exportable supplies in major exporting countries including Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, and Russia.

Global ending stocks are set to fall sharply once more, led by declining inventories for China and the United States.

Global wheat production is forecast lower than the 2017/18 record. Lower production in Russia, the European Union, and India is only partially offset by larger crops in the United States, Australia, and Canada, the report said.

Global consumption is projected up based on higher food use, despite marginally weaker feed use, it said, adding that record global trade is once again projected due to strong import demand from Asia and Africa.

Russia is forecast to be the largest exporter. Global stocks are projected down, but are primarily held by China, whose stocks are actually forecast higher.

Rice production is forecast at a record, with the most significant increase in Bangladesh.

Consumption is forecast to rise marginally with the largest gain in China.

Trade is projected up slightly, with import demand rising in Sub-Saharan Africa.

India will remain the top exporter, followed by Thailand, the report said.

Among the major grains, only rice stocks are forecast to rise marginally, as growth in China more than offsets reductions in top exporters.

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