The International Grains Council in its initial forecasts for world wheat and corn supply and demand in 2011-12 forecast stable wheat stocks but tighter world corn stocks despite a forecast for a record corn crop. The I.G.C. forecast world wheat ending stocks in 2011-12 at 186 million tonnes, unchanged from the projection for the current year but down 7% from 199 million tonnes in 2009-10. The I.G.C. forecast 2011-12 world wheat production at 672 million tonnes, down 1 million tonnes from its March projection but up 3% from 650 million tonnes in 2010-11. It would be the world’s third-largest wheat crop behind the record 686 million tonnes in 2008-09 and 679 million tonnes in 2009-10. The I.G.C. said less-than-ideal conditions for some crops accounted for the lower forecast for 2011-12.
“Winter wheat in the United States has been affected by dry conditions, and rains are also needed in the European Union and China,” the I.G.C. said. “Spring wheat sowing is being hindered by wet soils in the United States, Canada and Russia.”
The I.G.C. forecast world wheat consumption in 2011-12 at a record 672 million tonnes (matching the production forecast), up 2% from 662 million tonnes as the projection for the current year. World trade in wheat in 2011-12 was forecast at 126 million tonnes, up from 122 million tonnes as the projection for 2010-11 and compared with 128 million tonnes in 2009-10. The I.G.C. said, “World trade will be lifted by larger milling imports in North Africa and Near East Asia as well as by anticipated strong global demand for competitively priced wheat for feed.”
The I.G.C. forecast world corn ending stocks in 2011-12 at 111 million tonnes, down 7% from a projected 119 million tonnes in the current year and compared with 152 million tonnes in 2009-10. World corn production in 2011-12 was forecast at a record 847 million tonnes, up 5% from 809 million tonnes in 2010-11. The I.G.C. said high prices were expected to boost corn plantings 3% from 2010-11. World corn consumption in 2011-12 was forecast at a record 854 million tonnes, up 11 million tonnes from a projected 843 millions in the current year. “Potentially tight supplies and firm market prices are expected to limit consumption growth to 1.3%,” the I.G.C. said. “Although meat demand will remain firm in a number of developing countries, overall growth in maize (corn) use will likely slow as livestock producers switch to wheat. Due to a projected standstill in demand from U.S. ethanol producers, global industrial use of maize is forecast to slow to only 1.3%.” World trade in corn in 2011-12 was forecast at 94 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from the projection for the current year.