I.G.C. raises world wheat carryover

by Josh Sosland
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LONDON – Larger wheat production, less consumption and growing stocks were forecast by the International Grains Council in its Jan. 21 Grain Market Report. World wheat ending stocks in 2010 were forecast at 197 million tonnes by the I.G.C., up 6 million tonnes from the Nov. 26 report and up 19% from 165 million in 2009.

The carryover would represent a remarkable 67% increase from the recent low of 118 million tonnes in 2008, just two years earlier. Production in 2009-10 was forecast at 674 million tonnes, up 6 million tonnes from November, but off from the record 686 million tonnes harvested in 2008-09. Consumption was forecast at 642 million tonnes, off 1 million tonnes from November but up 3 million tonnes, less than 1%, from 2008-09.

“Weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere were generally favorable for winter grains planting and establishment,” the I.G.C. said in accompanying commentary. “World wheat harvested areas in 2010 are forecast at 221 million hectares, 1% less than in 2009. Assuming trend yields, production is projected at 653 million tonnes, some 21 million less than in 2009 but the third largest on record. In the E.U., where conditions remain favorable for winter wheat, sowings are expected to increase at the expense of barley.

“In the C.I.S., some areas have been exposed to frost damage. Winter wheat plantings in the U.S. were exceptionally low, at 15 million hectares, due to the late harvesting of maize and soybeans.”

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