World cereal supplies remain adequate despite lower production prospects

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Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Global cereal production in 2021 is forecast to reach  2 788 million tonnes, up by 0.7 percent from the year before but below July’s expectations, according to FAO’s new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief.

World wheat output is now expected to contract by 0.7 percent to 769.5 million tonnes this year, due predominantly to the negative impact of prolonged drought conditions in North America as well as adverse weather in Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.

Global coarse grains output is forecast to grow by 1.3 percent in 2021 to 1 499 million tonnes, even as production in Brazil is expected to contract. Global rice output is seen rising by 0.9 percent year-on-year to reach an all-time high of 519 million tonnes, buoyed by record yields reported for Viet Nam.

FAO now projects worldwide cereal utilization in 2021/22 to rise by 1.4 percent from the previous marketing year to 2 809 million tonnes, supported by a strong growth in feed use as well as higher food consumption.  The July forecast for global cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2022 has been lowered to 809 million tonnes, a 0.9 percent drop from opening levels.

Global rice stocks are on track to reach their second highest level on record, while dry weather is expected to squeeze wheat inventories – with ending stocks in the United States of America reaching an eight-year low and those of Canada dipping to their lowest level in 40 years. Overall, the world stocks-to-use ratio for cereals is projected at 28.1 percent, down from 29.9 percent in 2021/22 “but still indicating a relatively comfortable supply from a historical perspective,” FAO said.

World trade in cereals is now expected to decline in 2021/22, contracting by 1.3 percent to 466 million tonnes with foreseen decreases in wheat and coarse grains outweighing a rising world trade of rice.

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