WORLD – World total grains production in 2018/19 is expected to be slightly lower than last year’s, at 2.138 billion tonnes, partly attributed to a 29-million-tonne decline in wheat output, according to International Grains Council (IGC) May 30 report.

Due to smaller supplies and a sustained rise in consumption, grains stocks are forecast to tighten by 29 million tonnes, to a three-year low of 617 million tonnes, with approximately half the drop in the major exporters and half in China.

Grains trade is anticipated to fall as larger maize harvest is offset by declines for wheat, barley and sorghum.

Mainly because of adjustments for maize and sorghum in sub-Saharan Africa, the forecast for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2018/19 is up by 9 million tonnes (month-on-month), at 2.138 billion tonnes.

Total grains production in 2019/20 is projected to climb by 2%, to 2.177 billion tonnes, and will entirely compensate for smaller opening stocks to lift overall supply a fraction higher y/y.

Consumption growth is expected to outstrip the rise in supply, with the third successive stock contraction to a four-season low of 602 million tonnes.

This is as a result of shrinking maize inventories, coming to their lowest in six years.

Grains trade be 1% higher, slightly exceeding the peak of two years ago on anticipated increased shipments of wheat and barley.

2018/19 soybean output is raised by 1 million tonnes, to 363 million tonnes, a 6% y/y gain and a new peak due to an upgraded estimate for Brazil’s harvest.

“Including exceptional crops in Argentina and the US, the 2018/19 global soyabean outturn is seen at 363 million tonnes, up 22 million tonnes y/y and a fresh high.

“Owing to the impact of African swine fever on pig inventories and soya meal demand in China, world growth in uptake is set to be slender, at just 2%.

“Tied to a more than doubling in the US, stocks are forecast to be up by more than one-fifth y/y. Prospects for supply and demand in 2019/20 are uncertain.

“Given the current policy and demand backdrop, outlooks for consumption and trade are highly tentative.

The forecast for global rice trade in 2019 (Jan/Dec) is cut by 0.5 million tonnes to 46.1 million tonnes, steady y/y with consumption lifted slightly, while stocks are seen to lower.

This reflects gains in key exporters, notably India, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa.

Consumption is expected to rise due to ample availability and population growth, while stocks are likely to accumulate on increases in China and India.

Growth in acreage in parts of Asia could boost production to a high of 504 million tonnes and a modest gain in food demand is expected to underpin record consumption.

IGC says anticipated growth of global trade in 2020 rests on firmer African demand.