LONDON, ENGLAND — Global grain production in 2020-21 is forecast to increase to a record 2.224 billion tonnes, according to the most recent grain market report from the International Grains Council.

Output in 2020-21 is expected to be 39 million tonnes larger than the previous year and 9 tonnes higher than last month’s projection.

The IGC said record harvests are forecast for wheat (774 million tonnes) and corn (1.139 billion).

Despite the projections for record production, the IGC expects a fourth consecutive drawdown of world carryover stocks, to 609 million tonnes, down 8 million tonnes from 2019-20. The Council said the drawdown is entirely due to further depletion of corn inventories.

Trade is forecast to reach a record 416 million tonnes, up 22 million from the previous year, with record-level shipments of wheat and corn anticipated.

Principally tied to bigger outturns in the United States and Brazil, 2020-21 world soybean production is seen at 361 million tonnes, up 7 million tonnes from the previous year and just shy of the 2018-19 record, the IGC noted.

“With consumption expected to advance, (soybean) stocks are set to fall for a second successive year, with US inventories plunging after a season of heavy exports,” the IGC said.

The IGC said soybean trade is projected to remain steady year-on-year, at an all-time high of 170 million tonnes, which will include roughly 100 million tonnes in shipments to China.

“With elevated values likely to results in a significant supply response, world acreage could expand by 4% year on year in 2021-22 as output increases to peak at 383 million tonnes,” the IGC said.

The IGC noted that only a modest recovery in soybean stocks is anticipated in 2020-21, with inventories in key exporters remaining thin.

The IGC said global rice production is expected to increase in 2020-21 by 1% to a peak of 504 million tonnes, and trade is projected to increase by 4% year-on-year.

The IGC’s Grains and Oilseeds Index, which measures average prices, leveled off in March after sharply increasing in recent months.

“With a softer tone across all markets, most notably wheat and barley, the IGC GOI eased by 3% in March, but with average grains and oilseeds prices still sharply higher year on year,” the Council said.