UN food agency raises its forecast for global cereal production

FAO’s forecast for global cereal production in 2022 was raised by 7 million tonnes in July from the previous month and is now pegged at 2 792 million tonnes, according to the new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, also released Friday. This is still 0.6 percent short of the world output in 2021.

The month-on-month increase predominantly rests on a 6.4-million-tonne upward revision made to the coarse grain production forecast, with the world output seen reaching 1 501 million tonnes in 2022, only 0.5 percent below the 2021 outturn.

The forecast for world cereal utilisation in 2022/23 has also been lifted, up 9.2 million tonnes to 2 797 million tonnes, but is still 1.7 million tonnes (0.1 percent) below the 2021/22 level, mostly reflecting expectations of lower feed use.

At 854 million tonnes, FAO’s forecast of world cereal stocks at the close of seasons in 2023 is up 7.6 million tonnes from the previous month but still points to a year-on-year contraction of 0.6 percent (5.0 million tonnes). At this level, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio would fall from 30.7 percent in 2021/22 to 29.8 percent in 2022/23.

FAO’s latest forecast for world trade in cereals in 2022/23 stands at 468 million tonnes, up 4.8 million tonnes from last month but representing the lowest level in three seasons and a decrease of 11.4 million tonnes (2.4 percent) from the 2021/22 volume. Accounting for the bulk of the decline, trade in coarse grains is forecast to contract by 4.1 percent (9.5 million tonnes) in 2022/23 (July/June) from the 2021/22 estimated level, largely driven by war-related losses of maize and barley exports from Ukraine.

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