LONDON, ENGLAND — World total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production is forecast to rise to a record of 2.2 billion tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, according to the latest International Grains Council (IGC) grain market report released on Jan. 14.

The projection includes record harvest totals for wheat (768 million tonnes) and barley (158 million tonnes).

However, on a month-on-month basis, the IGC’s most recent projection for 2020-21 is slightly lower than the previous month’s outlook as a large reduction for corn (mainly in the United States, Argentina and Brazil) is only partially offset by increases for wheat and barley.

Mostly reflecting downgraded expectations for South American crops, the Council’s outlook for global soybean production is cut by 6 million tonnes, to 359 million tonnes, still up by 6% year-on-year.

“Although the reduction is partly offset by a higher figure for opening stocks — linked to reluctant sales by Argentine growers — consumption is still trimmed by 4 million tonnes to 365 million, a 4% year-on-year gain.

Global rice production in 2020-21 is forecast broadly unchanged from before, at 503 million tonnes but, due to a lower figure for opening stocks, total supplies are trimmed by 2 million tonnes month-on-month, the IGC said.

It noted that as rice consumption is lifted to a new high, world carryovers are lowered to 175 million tonnes (up 1 million tonnes year-on-year), with much of the downward adjustment due to the major exporters, notably India.

The IGC’s outlook for total grains consumption is lowered by 5 million tonnes, to 2.216 billion tonnes, with downgrades for feed and industrial uses of corn outweighing small increases for other coarse grains and wheat. Mainly linked to a downward adjustment for corn, the forecast for all-grain stocks at the end of 2020-21 is down by 5 million tonnes, to 611 million, representing a 6-million-tonne year-on-year contraction.

“Although the COVID pandemic continues to dampen demand in some sectors, particularly for fuel ethanol and brewing, overall consumption is predicted to grow for a fifth successive year,” the IGC said. “This includes gains of 8 million tonnes for both corn and wheat, and increases of 2 million each for barley, sorghum and oats.”

With all the components higher, but with the strongest gains for corn and soybeans, the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) rallied by 10% since the November grain market report.