LONDON, ENGLAND — The International Grains Council (IGC) on May 25 lowered its forecast for total grains production in 2017-18 to 2.053 billion tonnes, down from 2.054 billion tonnes in April, and down from 2.120 billion forecast for 2016-17. Total consumption was raised to 2.086 billion tonnes from 2.079 billion tonnes.

“With reductions anticipated for most grains, the 2017-18 world outturn is predicted to fall by 3% y/y (year-on-year), to (2.053 billion) tonnes, although large opening inventories will help to cushion the drop in supplies,” the IGC said. “Consumption is projected to match the previous season’s high, underpinned by robust food, feed and industrial demand.”

The IGC forecast world wheat production in 2017-18 at 736 million tonnes, unchanged from April but down from 754 million tonnes forecast in 2016-17. World wheat ending stocks were forecast at 239 million tonnes, unchanged from April but down from 241 million tonnes in 2016-17.

The IGC forecast 2017-18 maize production at 1.026 billion tonnes, unchanged from April and compared with 1.065 billion tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection was raised to 1.054 billion tonnes from 1.046 billion tonnes in April.

Soybean production for 2017-18 was forecast at 348 million tonnes, unchanged from April but down from 350 million tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection, meanwhile, was raised to 351 million tonnes from 350 million. The IGC said global trade is expected to increase to 147 million tonnes.

The 2017-18 world outturn for rice is expected to total 487 million tonnes, unchanged from the forecast in April. Consumption is forecast to climb to 488 million tonnes from 485 million tonnes.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) increased 2%, the IGC said.

“A firmer tone was observed across global grains, rice and oilseed markets during May, with the IGC GOI up by a net 2%,” the IGC said. “Strength in rice, largely attributed to firmer global demand, was particularly evident. Despite the m/m (month-over-month) gain, the GOI remained 6% below year ago levels.”