LONDON, ENGLAND — The International Grains Council (IGC) in its monthly production forecast said global grain output for 2019-20 is unchanged at 2.15 billion tonnes as a 3-million-tonne increase in barley was offset by cuts for corn, sorghum, wheat and oats.

Still, the crop is expected to be the second largest in history, 1% larger than last year’s global harvest, the IGC said.

Wheat production is expected to reach a new peak at 764 million tonnes, 31 million tonnes higher than last year’s total and 2 million tonnes above the 2017-18 record.

Barley output is forecast to reach an 11-year high, but the corn crop is projected to shrink by 31 million tonnes as the United States is expected to have sub-par production due to heavy rains in the spring that delayed planting.

“The rise in output is entirely offset by tighter opening inventories, keeping global total supply unchanged year on year,” the IGC said.

Soybean production is unchanged month on month but is forecast to decline 6% year on year as marginal downgrades in the United States and Argentina are only partly offset by increases elsewhere.

All-grains consumption is forecast to increase by 1% year on year to 2.18 billion tonnes, led by growth for wheat and barley feeding.

The IGC said ample and competitively priced availabilities for wheat and barley likely will cap demand for alternatives, including corn.

“A third consecutive contraction of world stocks is envisaged, (from 628 million tonnes to 603 million) with another drawdown for corn carryover to a six-year low, outweighing build-ups of wheat (to a record) and barley to a 10-year high,” the IGC said.

Global grain trade is forecast to rise by 1% in 2019-20 to 370 million tonnes, mainly on bigger shipments of wheat and barley, the IGC said.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index climbed by 1% since the August report, as increased export quotations for wheat and corn were only partly offset by decreases in soybeans and rice.

In the September report, the index for 2019-20 was 185, 6.5% lower than the previous year.

The index helps with the monitoring of price trends in key global ag markets, following the day-to-day changes for wheat, corn, barley, sorghum, rice, soybeans and canola.