IGC raises 2001 wheat estimate, sees bigger 2002 crop

by Chrystal Shannon
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World wheat production in 2002 is projected at 597 million tonnes, up 7 million from December and up 19 million from 2001, according to a Jan. 24 forecast issued by the International Grains Council in London.

Production in the European Community, the United States, Argentina, China and India was forecast to be up from 2001. The IGC said market activity recently has been depressed in Argentina because of that country’s financial crisis, but "export sales recently resumed with some competitively priced transactions."

The IGC said no recovery is likely in wheat flour trade in 2001-02, with the total forecast at 7.9 million tonnes in wheat equivalent, versus 8.4 million in 2000-01 and 9.8 million in 1999-00.

The council attributed the decline to increases in flour milling capacity. Both the U.S. and the E.U. are projected to export less flour this year.