ROME, ITALY — Worldwide wheat and maize production is expected to increase in 2019, while rice is projected to slip below the previous year's record, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

While on the consumption side, the FAO anticipates per capita food use of all three cereals to keep pace and even exceed population growth.

Global oilseed production is expected to contract for the first time in three years, largely due to expectations of a reduction in soybean plantings and lower yields in the United States as well as weaker prospects for rapeseed in Canada and the E.U.

“Global fish production is foreseen to remain unchanged from 2018, with a 3.4% decline in capture fisheries offset by a 3.9% increase in aquaculture harvests,” the FAO said. “Trade in fish is predicted to drop, although imports to China are expected to increase substantially.”

While fish production is expected to remain steady, worldwide meat production is foreseen to decline, due to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China.

Production of bovine, ovine, poultry and pig meats are forecast to total 335 million tonnes in carcass weight equivalent, 1% lower than the previous year, according to the Food Outlook published Nov. 7.

“The drop is driven by an anticipated contraction of at least 20% for pigmeat output in China, which usually accounts for close to half the world's production,” the FAO said. “Poultry output in China, by contrast, had been rapidly ramped up and is expected to grow by 17% year-on-year, containing the country’s total meat output decline to 8%.”

The FAO Food Outlook is a biannual publication focusing on developments affecting global food and feed markets, including developments in international markets, with assessments and forecasts on a commodity by commodity basis.