LONDON, ENGLAND — Total grains production is expected to fall by 40 million tonnes to 2.251 billion in 2022-23, reflecting smaller wheat, maize (corn) and sorghum harvests, the International Grains Council (IGC) said as it convened its 56th IGC Council Session on June 6.

The meeting was chaired by Taras Kachka, deputy minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, trade representative of Ukraine.

Consumption is only fractionally lower so global end-season inventories are expected to contract, the IGC said. World trade is anticipated to drop 3% to 404 million tonnes, reflecting an anticipated drop in corn and barley volumes.

Global soybean production, however, is expected to rebound, increasing 11% year-over-year to a peak of 378 million tonnes. Traded volumes are expected to increase 8% on larger deliveries to Asian markets in particular, the IGC said.

Tied to gains in Asia, world rice output was seen expanding by 1%, to a fresh high. World pulses import demand was forecast to contract by 2% in 2022 as bigger shipments to Far East Asia were expected to be outweighed by smaller deliveries elsewhere, including to the EU, Africa and the Americas.

During the session, the Secretariat presented its updated global supply and demand balances for grains-based ethanol, aimed at enhancing IGC’s understanding of biofuels markets and to aid forecasting of short-term trends in industrial use of grains. This update was followed by members’ discussions on recent biofuels-related policy developments.

Taking into consideration the current market situation, members discussed the latest trade-related policy developments. The Secretariat also presented its new database on national trade-related and other policy developments. To improve market transparency, the database applies the same framework that has been developed by international organizations, namely the WTO and UNCTAD.

The Council agreed to a new program of work for 2022-23, noting that the Secretariat would continue to concentrate on its core economic activities in relation to grains market challenges. Projects for the forthcoming year would include:

  • Exploring a baseline scenario for biofuels production for the next five years;
  • Developing special webinars on sustainability and trade for specific sectors (grains, rice, oilseeds and pulses);
  • Extending its work on pulses market information, including the development of supply and demand balances for dry and broad beans, as well as providing a wider range of FOB price information; and
  • Developing analysis of world sunflower seed supply and demand, as well as the monitoring of sunflower product markets.

The council appointed Dr. Florence Kaibi, Minister Counsellor and Agriculture Attaché, Kenya Embassy to Belgium, Luxembourg & Mission to the EU, Brussels as chairperson for 2022-23. Cynthia Guven, Agricultural Counselor for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Foreign Agricultural Service, US Department of Agriculture was appointed vice chairperson for 2022-23.

The Council welcomed the participation of observers from Brazil, Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory, FAO-AMIS and the IGTC.

The 31st IGC Grains Conference, “Building resilience to global market vulnerabilities,” will be held in person and virtually on June 7-8 2 and will comprise 13 live Q&A sessions.

Among the speakers, Victoria Prentis MP, minister of state (minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food) as well as Kachka, deputy minister of Economic Development of Ukraine, will participate in the discussion on food security and trade.

The IGC Grains Conference is part of the fourth London Grains Week organized by AHDB, GAFTA, IGC and IGTC to bring together the key operators of the grains value chain to discuss the latest trade challenges and opportunities.