World grains harvest upgraded to within an ace of record high


World grains production will come just 1m tonnes from its record high, the International Grains Council said, lifting in particular its forecast for output of corn, in which it ditched an estimate of a drop in stocks.

The intergovernmental group hiked by 20m tonnes to 2.046bn tonnes its forecast for global output of coarse grains and wheat in 2016-17, taking the figure within an ace of the record high set two seasons ago.

The upgrade reflected in part an increase of 6m tonnes, to 735m tonnes, in the estimate for world wheat output, as improved estimates for former Soviet Union and US crops offset a downgrade to expectations for the European Union harvest.

"Wheat harvests are significantly exceeding expectations in the US and [former Soviet Union], but results have been poorer than predicted in parts of the EU, particularly in France," the council said.

Indeed, in the EU, "there is increasing evidence of yield and quality damage following untimely rains".

'Solid rebound'

However, the bulk of the grains upgrade was down to an increase of 14m tonnes to 1.017bn tonnes in the forecast for world corn output, taking the estimate 1m tonnes from the 2014-15 record high.

"After last year's decline, a solid rebound in global corn output is anticipated, with most of the gain in the major exporters," the IGC said.

"Better crop prospects in the US account for most of the change for corn."

'Historically elevated stocks'

Estimates for grain demand were raised too, with the IGC saying that "global grains consumption is seen surpassing 2bn tonnes for only the second time, with food, feed and industrial demand all potentially at new all-time peaks".

However, the estimate for world grain stocks at the close of 2016-17 was raised by 6m tonnes to 488m tonnes, reflecting in particular an increase in inventories of corn, facing "strong" competition from wheat in the feed market, thanks to a "below-average-quality" wheat harvest.

Global corn stocks will, rather than falling 2m tonnes over the season as previously, will rise by 6m tonnes to a "historically elevated" 213m tonnes.



Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult