International Grains Council raises forecasts for 2019-20 world wheat, corn crops

The International Grains Council (IGC) has raised its forecasts for world wheat and corn production in the 2019/2020 season. The 2019-20 projections indicate a return to the bearish combination of rising production and stocks last experienced in 2017-18.

The inter-governmental body, in a monthly update, increased its global wheat crop forecast by 3 million tonnes to 762 million tonnes, just 1 million tonne lower than the 763 million tonnes they forecast for 2017-18. This represents a volume that is 27 million tonnes or 3.7 per cent higher than forecast for 2018-19. The IGC notes a higher expected output for Russia, Australia, Ukraine and Canada.

While the organization sees global consumption growing, its estimate of 752 million tonnes for the upcoming crop year would indicate that consumption is growing slower than the rate of growth in production. Considering USDA historical data, 2018-19 was the first time in six years that consumption exceeded production, while ICG’s projections indicate that the global market will see a return to this scenario.

Stocks in the U.S. are forecast to fall by roughly 1.75 million tonnes, while Kazakhstan is forecast to see a modest drop in stocks. Meanwhile, current forecasts indicate that global stocks will rise in Argentina, Australia, India, Ukraine, European Union, Canada, Russia and China.

As a result, ending stocks are forecast to grow by 10 million tonnes, to 274 million tonnes, a record volume to be carried from the 2019-20 crop year, according to IGC data. The council increased its forecast for 2019/20 world corn (maize) production by 1 million tonnes to 1.125 billion tonnes. The USDA will release its first outlook for 2019-20 on 10 May , 2019.

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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