LONDON, ENGLAND – Despite difficult growing conditions in some parts of the world, the International Grains Council (IGC) is forecasting total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in the 2021-22 marketing year to reach an all-time high at 2.286 billion tonnes, up 71 million tonnes from last year.

In its latest monthly Grain Market Report, released on Jan. 13, the IGC also projected global grains consumption to set a record this year at 2.287 billion tonnes, causing a slight decrease in ending stocks year-on-year to 601 million tonnes. It marks the fifth consecutive month the IGC has forecast global ending stocks to contract.

The IGC lowered its total grains production forecast by 1 million tonnes from its November projection as reductions in corn (mostly in South America), oats, barley and rye output offset gains in wheat, led by Australia and Argentina.

The Council’s initial forecasts for 2022-23 wheat supply and demand include a tentative projection for a fourth consecutive increase in global production, to a new peak. It also sees consumption reaching a record high, leaving the global ending stocks picture unchanged. Assuming improved production in several countries, world wheat trade is forecast to retreat from this year’s record, the IGC said.

Reflecting the impact of hot, dry weather on crop prospects in South America, the IGC’s forecast for global soybean output in 2021-22 is slashed by 12 million tonnes from the November projection to 368 million tonnes, which is still slightly higher than the previous year.

“The net reduction in world availabilities is reflected in a downgraded outlook for consumption — albeit still placed at a new high — and inventories,” the IGC said. “Much of the downward adjustment in expectation for stocks is due to the major exporters, namely Brazil and Argentina.”

Amid further gains in Asia, global soybean consumption “should reach a fresh peak, with increased demand partly linked to tight supplies of alternatives such as rapeseed/canola.”

Global soybean stocks are predicted to fall by 6% year-on-year to 52 million tonnes, including a reduction in exporters’ reserves, while trade is forecast to expand by 4% compared to 2020-21 to 167 million tonnes, underpinned by Asian demand.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index advanced by 3% from mid-November as firmer soybeans corn prices more than compensated for declines in wheat and barley.