IGC raises global grains output forecast

by Eric Schroeder
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IGC estimates total grains production in 2017-18 at 2.075 billion tonnes.
LONDON, ENGLAND — The International Grains Council (IGC) on Oct. 26 raised its forecast for total grains production in 2017-18 to 2.075 billion tonnes, up from 2.069 billion tonnes in September, but down from 2.133 billion forecast for 2016-17. Total consumption was raised to 2.104 billion tonnes from 2.096 billion tonnes.

“A boost for (maize) (up 5 million tonnes, mostly in the United States) is mainly responsible for a 6-million-tonne (month-on-month) increase in the forecast for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2017-18, to 2.075 billion, only modestly below the previous season’s record,” the IGC said. “Wheat output is lifted by 1 million tonnes, as downgraded outlooks for Australia and Argentina are outweighed by gains for the E.U., the U.S. and Ukraine. Higher projected industrial use of maize, mostly in China, helps to lift total grains consumption by 8 million tonnes from before, to a new peak of 2.104 billion tonnes.”

The IGC forecast world wheat production in 2017-18 at 748 million tonnes, unchanged from September but down from 754 million tonnes forecast in 2016-17. World wheat ending stocks were forecast at 249 million tonnes, up from 248 million tonnes in September and up from 242 million tonnes in 2016-17.

The IGC forecast 2017-18 maize production at 1.034 billion tonnes, up from 1.029 billion tonnes in September and compared with 1.079 billion tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection was raised to 1.067 billion tonnes from 1.058 billion tonnes in September.

“Much of the rise in maize consumption is in China, where government measures are stimulating demand in order to curb stocks,” the IGC noted in its report. “World feed consumption is predicted to edge only fractionally upward, but is nevertheless expected to be the largest in history.”

Soybean production for 2017-18 was forecast at 348 million tonnes, unchanged from September but down from 350 million tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection, meanwhile, was raised to 353 million tonnes from 351 million tonnes. The IGC said global trade is expected to total 151 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from the September forecast.

The 2017-18 world outturn for rice is expected to total 482 million tonnes, down 1 million tonnes from the forecast in September. Consumption also is forecast to fall, to 485 million tonnes from 486 million tonnes.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) decreased 1.1%, the IGC said.

“The IGC GOI dipped by a net 1% across the month and is now only fractionally higher compared to a year ago,” the IGC said. “While the maize and barley sub-Indices edged slightly higher m/m, the other main components were weaker, led by a 3% drop in wheat.”
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