IGC trims 2018-19 world grains production forecast

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With small adjustments for wheat, maize and sorghum, the International Grains Council (IGC) has lowered its forecast for world total grains production in 2018/19 to 2,079 million tonnes, declined by 2 million tonnes from its earlier forecast and down 1 per cent year-on-year.

In its latest monthly report, the inter-governmental body trimmed its forecast for world corn (maize) production in the 2018/19 season by 1 million tonnes to 1.073 billion tonnes, reflecting a downward revision in the US crop. The group noted, however, that stronger Ukrainian production was expected to mostly help make up for the drop in US supplies.

The IGC lowered its forecast for the US corn crop to 371.5 million tonnes, from 375.4 million tonnes forecast in the previous month. Expectations for Ukrainian production were revised up to 33.5 million tonnes, from the prior month’s forecast for 30 million tonnes.

The IGC maintained its forecast for world wheat production in 2018/19 at 729 million tonnes.

The IGC also issued its first projection for the world wheat area in 2019/20, estimating it will rise by about one percent to 220 million hectares, the first expansion in four years. “Although gains are anticipated in the EU, Russia, the USA and India, inclement weather in the early part of the growing season is of some concern,” the IGC said.

A drawdown in both wheat and corn stocks was still expected during the 2018/19 season with overall grain stocks seen falling to a four-year low.

Global soybean production in 2018/19 was forecast at 367 million tonnes, down from the prior month’s forecast for 369 million. However, 2018/19 soybean output is still poised to be well above the prior season’s 340 million.

Total grains consumption was trimmed by one million tonnes, with the IGC pointing to adjustments for feeding and industrial uses of wheat and sorghum.

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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