International Grains Council cuts its forecast for 2020/21 global grains production

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Photo courtesy - Asian Development Bank

The International Grains Council (IGC) cut its forecast for a record global grains production by 9 million tonnes to 2.21 billion tonnes in 2020/21. The council also trimmed its projection for consumption during the season.

In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its forecast for corn (maize) by 13 million tonnes, partially offset by an upward revision in the outlook for wheat.

Global consumption of grains in 2020/21 was lowered by 5 million tonnes to 2.216 billion tonnes but remained above the prior season’s 2.192 billion.

“Although the COVID pandemic continues to dampen demand in some sectors, particularly for fuel ethanol and brewing, overall consumption is predicted to grow for a fifth successive year,” the IGC said.

Grain stocks were seen dipping to a five-year low of 611 million tonnes. “The decline is entirely because of a drop in maize inventories, to an eight-year low, led by contractions in the U.S., China and the EU,” the IGC said.

The IGC cut its global corn production forecast by 13 million tonnes to 1.133 billion tonnes although it remained slightly up on the prior season’s 1.124 billion tonne crop. Production in the United States, by far the world’s top grower of the crop, was cut to 360.3 million tonnes from a prior projection of 368.5 million. Brazil’s corn crop was seen at 105.8 million tonnes in 2020/21, down from a previous projection of 112.5 million but still above the prior season’s 102.5 million.

Corn production in Argentina in 2020/21 was downwardly revised to 52 million tonnes from 54.3 million previously.

The IGC raised its forecast for 2020/21 world wheat production by 3 million tonnes to 768 million tonnes with estimates for Australia, Canada and Russia all lifted. A first projection of world wheat supply and demand in 2021/22 pointed to record production and, despite higher consumption, a further build-up of global stocks, the IGC added.

World wheat production in 2021/22 was seen rising by 3% to a record 791 million tonnes and consumption was also projected to climb by 3% to 775 million tonnes, also an all-time high. The IGC said world wheat stocks were projected to rise by 15 million tonnes by the end of the 2021/22 season to a record high of 309 million tonnes.

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