LONDON, ENGLAND — The outlook for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2015-16 is boosted by 4 million tonnes month-on-month, to 1.97billion, only 2% less than the previous year’s record, according to a report released on July 30 by the International Grains Council (IGC).

Unfavorable weather has reduced crop prospects in some regions, especially in the E.U. for wheat and maize (corn) and in Canada for wheat, barley and oats, but this is outweighed by gains elsewhere, mainly for maize in China and sorghum in the U.S.

The projection of world rice production is lowered from June but, with a higher figure for carry-ins, end-season stocks are little changed month-on-month, at 96 million tonnes, a drop of 8% for the year the report said. Most of the fall is due to a 30% contraction in major exporters’ inventories, almost entirely in India and Thailand. Trade in 2016 is expected to stay high, at close to 42 million tonnes, on sustained demand from Africa and Asia due to attractive prices, with China likely to remain the biggest importer.

World rice production is seen reaching a new record in 2015-16, although the outlook is highly tentative given the uncertain impact of El Niño conditions on crops in Asia. With availabilities anticipated to contract slightly and consumption expected to rise to a new high, global carryovers are seen dropping by 8%, to 96 million tonnes the report said. Much of the fall will be in the major exporters, mainly Thailand and India, outweighing marginal increases elsewhere. While exportable supplies are expected to tighten, buying interest should remain firm in 2016, as trade stays close to 42 million tonnes.

Global soybean output in 2015-16 is seen broadly unchanged month-on-month, with an anticipated 2% year-over-year decline resulting from a retreat in average yields in key producers. Owing to a reduction in carry-ins from last month, together with a marginal upgrade for total use, end season carryovers are placed 4 million tonnes lower than previously, at 48 million. Nevertheless, this would still be a new high, and is linked to an expected 16% increase in major exporters’ stocks, IGC said. Forecast trade is raised to a peak of 124 million tonnes, some 3% higher year-over-year on expectations of firm demand from China.

The global soybean harvested area is seen expanding marginally in 2015-16 but, with productivity in key producers likely to retreat, the world outturn is projected to contract by 2% from the previous season’s high. Although uptake is set to post further growth on demand for soybean products, world end-season stocks are still anticipated at a record level. Largely tied to an increase in U.S. carryovers, major exporters’ stocks are expected to expand by 16% year-over-year, to 31.6 million tonnes – equivalent to two-thirds of the global total. Trade is forecast to rise by 3% year-over-year, to about 124 million tonnes, almost entirely on bigger sales to China, the report said.

Initial weather-related gains in wheat, maize and soybean export prices were reversed later in July, as mostly favorable conditions for crops returned. Overall, the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) was 2% lower month-on-month.

While unfavorable weather has trimmed 2015-16 output expectations in some countries, world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production is still expected to be the third largest ever, at 1.97 billion tonnes said the report. Heavy opening stocks will offset most of the decline in the harvest, with total supply only fractionally lower year-over-year. Gains in food use, seen broadly matching global population growth, underpin a small rise in projected consumption, to 1.978 billion tonnes. Feed demand is expected to stay close to the previous year’s all-time high.