I.G.C. again lifts grains output forecast

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — The International Grains Council (I.G.C.) on Jan. 18 raised its forecast for total grains production in 2017-18 to 2,100 million tonnes, up from 2,079 million tonnes in November, but down from 2,140 million forecast for 2016-17. Total consumption was lowered to 2,104 million tonnes from 2,107 million tonnes.

“Most of the change is for wheat (including for Russia, Canada, Argentina and Australia) and maize (the E.U., the U.S., China, Nigeria and Ethiopia),” the I.G.C. said. “Mainly because of adjustments to historical figures for maize in China, the forecast for world total grains stocks is boosted sharply from before, to 617 million tonnes, although this still represents the first contraction in five years. The projection for trade is up by 1 million tonnes, at 360 million, an increase of 2% y/y (year-on-year)."

The I.G.C. forecast world wheat production in 2017-18 at 757 million tonnes, up from 749 million tonnes in November and up from 755 million tonnes forecast in 2016-17. World wheat ending stocks were forecast at 254 million tonnes, up from 249 million tonnes in November and up from 241 million tonnes in 2016-17.

“Trade is seen at a record, bolstered by growing import needs in Africa and Asia, including in India,” the I.G.C. said.

The I.G.C. forecast 2017-18 maize production at 1,054 million tonnes, up from 1,040 million tonnes in November and compared with 1,088 million tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection was lowered to 1,068 million tonnes from 1,069 million tonnes.

Soybean production for 2017-18 was forecast at 349 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from 348 million tonnes in November, but down from 350 million tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 352 million tonnes. The I.G.C. said global trade is expected to total 153 million tonnes, the same as forecast in November.

The 2017-18 world outturn for rice is expected to total 484 million tonnes, up from 482 million tonnes forecast in November. Consumption is forecast to increase to 485 million tonnes from 484 million tonnes.

The I.G.C. Grains and Oilseeds Index (G.O.I.) decreased 1%, the I.G.C. said.

“Net gains in rice and barley prices were linked primarily to solid export demand, while firmer maize quotations stemmed from a mixture of logistical difficulties and prolonged dry weather in Argentina,” the I.G.C. said. “With oilseed traders focusing on a promising outlook for Brazil, average soyabean values touched a six-month low in January. Amid heavy spot supplies, wheat markets remained generally weak.”

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