Global cereals trade expected to dip from the 2020/21 record level

World trade in cereals in the 2021/22 marketing year is likely to witness a 1.2 percent decline compared to the previous year, the FAO said in its latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief 

The decline is associated with maize and other coarse grains, while trade volumes for rice are predicted to grow by 3.8 percent and that for wheat by 1.0 percent.

With almost all crops harvested for the 2020/21 cycle, FAO pegs the world cereal production at 2 799 million tonnes, an 0.8 percent increase from the 2019/20 outturn.

World cereal utilization for the 2021/22 period is projected to increase by 0.9 percent from the previous year to 2 785 million tonnes.

FAO’s new estimate for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2022 now stands at 856 million tonnes, 2.8 percent above opening levels, led by a build-up in maize inventories partly due to suspended exports from Ukraine. If confirmed, the global cereal stocks-to-use ratio would end the period unchanged at a “relatively comfortable supply level” of 29.9 percent, according to FAO.

FAO still predicts global wheat production to grow in 2022, to 782 million tonnes. That forecast incorporates an expected 20 percent decline in harvested area in Ukraine as well as drought-driven output declines in Morocco.

For coarse grains, the Brief indicates that Brazil is on course to harvest a record maize crop of 116 million tonnes in 2022, while weather conditions are likely to dent maize output in Argentina and South Africa. Initial planting surveys indicate that maize acreage in the United States of America is likely to decline by 4 percent, amid concerns over the high costs of fertilizers and other inputs.

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