The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expects world cereal production in 2021 to increase for the third consecutive year and has raised its preliminary global wheat production forecast on better than-earlier-anticipated crop conditions in several countries.
Global wheat production is forecast to reach a new high of 785 million tonnes in 2021, up 1.4 percent from 2020, driven by a likely sharp rebound across most of Europe and expectations of a record harvest in India.
Above-average outputs are also expected for maize, with a record harvest anticipated in Brazil and a multi-year high in South Africa, according to FAO’s latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, released on Thursday.
For the current 2020/21 marketing season, global cereal utilization is now forecast at 2 777 million tonnes, 2.4 percent higher than the previous year, driven largely by higher estimates of feed use of wheat and barley in China, where the livestock sector is recovering from African swine fever.
World cereal stocks at the end of 2021 are forecast to decline by 1.7 percent from their opening levels to 808 million tonnes. Combined with the utilization forecasts, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio for 2020/21 is foreseen to dip to a seven-year low of 28.4 percent.
FAO also raised its forecast for world trade in cereals during 2020/21 to 466 million tonnes, a 5.8 percent increase from the previous year, driven by even faster trade in coarse grains linked to unprecedented levels of maize purchases by China. Also for rice, international trade is forecast to expand by 6 percent year-on-year.