LONDON, ENGLAND — Due to a rise in projected U.S. corn production, the International Grains Council (IGC) has raised its forecast for total world grain production in 2019-20 by 11 million tonnes.

In its monthly Grain Market Review (GMR), released on Aug. 29, the IGC said it now forecasts global grain production for 2019-20 at 2.159 billion tonnes, up from 2.148 billion in its July forecast and 17 million tonnes higher than the Council’s 2017-18 estimated total.

The IGC put global corn production for 2019-20 at 342 million tonnes, up 8 million tonnes from the July forecast, but noted that “output prospects are still uncertain after a less than ideal growing season.”

The outlook for global grain consumption in 2019-20 increased by 2 million tonnes from the previous month to 2.186 billion tonnes. If realized, this would be a 1% increase from the previous year.

“With larger new crop supply than in the last GMR, and also taking into account the bigger opening inventories, the projection for world closing stocks is up by 13 million tonnes (month on month), to 598 million, albeit still  down by 27 million tonnes year on year at a four-year low,” the IGC  said.

The IGC said global soybean production for 2019-20 has been downgraded by 4 million tonnes from the July report on diminished prospects in the United States, where harvested area is likely to contract by 14% from the previous year.

With trade data confirming smaller-than-anticipated shipments to key markets, the Council’s forecast for soybean trade in 2018-19 is reduced by 1 million tonnes, to 149 million tonnes, a decline of 3% year on year.

Reflecting subdued demand from buyers in Africa and Asia, the IGC’s forecast for rice trade in 2019-20 is lowered by 1 million tonnes, to 45 million tonnes, a slight year-on-year decrease. Global rice output is projected 2 million tonnes lower from the previous month’s forecast, at 501 million tonnes, slightly higher than the estimated 2018-19 crop.

“However, due to historical supply and demand adjustments for China, world ending stocks are raised by 16 million tonnes (month on month), to 178 million tonnes, a 3% gain and a new peak,” the IGC said.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index, which follows the day-to-day changes for wheat, corn, barley, sorghum, rice, soybeans and canola prices, softened by 4% since the July GMR report, including a particularly steep drop in the maize sub-index, but with wheat and barley also posting declines.