I.G.C. raises concern over two-tier wheat market

by Teresa Acklin
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   LONDON — The International Grains Council, in a recent grain market report, pointed to “concern over the possible development of a two-tier market for wheat, based on widening disparity in availabilities of higher and lower quality supplies.”

   The Council observed that unfavorable weather threatened protein levels in the U.S. hard red winter crop as well as in white wheat. Further, indications from France were that the new crop “might include significant amounts of poorer quality.”

   At the same time, the I.G.C. estimated the world wheat crop at 567 million tonnes, off 1 million from a month ago and down 18 million from last year. It also reduced its estimate of world wheat exports, by 1 million to 99 million tonnes, still ahead of 93 million in 1998-99.

   The export reduction reflected an expected decrease in China's takings, to 3 million tonnes, which were still 1 million more than in the prior year.