Global grain stocks set to fall further: IGC


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The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast that grains stocks would fall further in the 2019 season with an anticipated increase in both wheat and corn production insufficient to satisfy record demand. IGC see total stocks of grain falling by 29 million tonnes this season to 575 million tonnes following a 44 million tonne drawdown in 2018.

Australia is expected to lead this year’s recovery in wheat harvested area followed by Russia, Eurpoean Union, Ukraine, Turkey and the United States, the world total harvest wheat area predicted the highest in three years reaching 220 million hectares.

Combined with a small lift in yields, 2019/20 world wheat production is forecast 759 million tonnes, compared with 735 million tonnes current year, 763 million tonnes in the 2017/18 and 757 million tonnes in the 2016/7 crop years.

Wheat ending stocks in 2019/20 are forecast to rise to 270 million tonnes from 264 million tonnes current year.

Barley in 2018/19 suffered lower-than-average planted area and yield, which cut production and further tightened world stock to a 23-year low at end 2018/19.

Tight supplies and comparatively high prices could underpin a turnaround in plantings, the world barley crop in 2019/20 projected to rise 5 per cent to 148.8 million tonnes. The expanded production of barley is projected to encourage an uptick in feed use.

World barley stock was projected to recover slightly to 24.6 million tonnes at the end of 2019/20, compared with 22.9 million tonnes current year.

Production and consumption of maize have been trending up globally though the figures in China have been diverging. China’s consumption has been rising apparently steadily, while production in the past few years has flat-lined, leading to lower stocks. It is expected to contribute more than two-thirds to 2019/20 global maize stock falling 13 per cent year-on-year to 266 million tonnes, potentially a seven-year low.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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