LONDON, ENGLAND – The projection for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2015-16 is only slightly lower month-on-month (m/m), with a reduced figure for wheat partly offset by an upward revision for maize (corn), according to a monthly report released by the International Grains Council (IGC) on June 26.

The IGC said that at 1.966 billion tonnes, total grains output is expected to be 2% down year-on-year (y/y), but 4% above the average in the prior five years. The consumption forecast is unchanged m/m, at 1.981 billion tonnes, but owing to reduced opening inventories and lower production, carryover stocks are cut by 4 million, to 422 million, down 4% y/y. However, the ratio of stocks-to-use will remain comfortable.

While global rice production in 2015-16 is projected almost unchanged m/m, at a new record, the outlook is tentative, the report said, especially given uncertainty about the impact of El Niño on crops in Asia. Owing to reduced opening stocks, supplies are expected to tighten and, with uptake to expand further, world end-season inventories are forecast to drop to a six-year low. Major exporters’ stocks are seen declining by about one-quarter y/y, to 20.9 million tonnes, the smallest since 2007-08. World trade is expected to remain high on firm demand from Asia and Africa.

Global soybean plantings could expand slightly in 2015-16 but, with average yields potentially retreating, production is likely to fall, the IGC said. Nevertheless, owing to large carry-in stocks, global supplies are anticipated to remain comfortable and, with processing and consumption expected to grow more moderately, world ending stocks are set to rise to a fresh peak. The outlook for world trade is fractionally lowered but, at 122 million tonnes, would still be a new high, boosted by deliveries to Asian markets.

Amid less than ideal weather in some regions, uncertainty about crop prospects resulted in net gains in export prices during June, with the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) up by 4% m/m.

Expectations for world 2015-16 total grains production remained mostly favorable, the report said. While the harvest forecast is trimmed slightly from before, overall supply is expected to fall only fractionally y/y, bolstered by large opening stocks. Global consumption is projected to stay high, with growth in food and industrial demand partly offset by slightly lower feed and other uses (including post-harvest losses).

The IGC said total grains carryover stocks at the end of 2015-16 (aggregate of respective local marketing years) are projected to recede by 16 million tonnes y/y, to 422 million, with about four-fifths of the drop attributed to maize. This would represent the first contraction for maize in five years and would still leave stocks at a comfortable level.

Only a fractional fall in wheat inventories is expected, while the combined carryovers in the major barley exporters could dip to a 20-year low, the IGC said. World grains trade in 2015-16 (July/June) is forecast 2% lower y/y, at 310 million tonnes. Maize trade is projected to increase to a near record level, while sustained buying by China could lift sorghum to a 31-year high. However, better domestic harvests in some countries will likely reduce wheat and barley import needs, especially in North Africa and Near East Asia.

Assuming bigger crops in key Asian producers, global rice output in 2015-16 is anticipated to reach a new peak, the report said. However, with supplies set to contract, world carryovers are projected to drop by 7% y/y, to a six-year low. As China’s inventories are set to edge up, much of the fall will likely be due to a steep decline in leading exporters. China’s imports could expand further in 2016 and, together with another year of above-average shipments to traditional buyers in Asia and Africa, trade is seen only fractionally lower y/y, at close to 42 million tonnes. Given tightening availabilities, India’s exports are forecast to fall, but Thailand’s shipments are placed at a fresh record, the IGC said.
The report said world soybean output in 2015-16 is seen only marginally below the previous year’s record as a larger area for harvesting mostly compensates for a fall in productivity. Centered on growth in demand for soybean products, uptake is expected to expand, albeit more moderately than in 2014-15, while world carryovers are forecast at a record of 51.7 million tonnes, as accumulation in leading exporters more than offsets a drop in China’s stocks. Traded volumes are anticipated to reach a fresh peak on bigger deliveries to China. Despite anticipated demand rationing, world rapeseed/canola ending stocks are set to fall by more than one-quarter y/y, to 4 million tonnes, the IGC said. Trade is seen contracting to a five-year low as ample supplies of alternatives contain demand from Asian buyers.