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LONDON, ENGLAND — The International Grains Council (IGC) on Sept. 28 raised its forecast for total grains production in 2017-18 to 2.069 billion tonnes, up from 2.049 billion tonnes in August, but down from 2.133 billion forecast for 2016-17. Total consumption was raised to 2.096 billion tonnes from 2.089 billion tonnes.

“World total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2017-18 is forecast to be the second largest ever, at 2.069 billion tonnes,” the IGC said. “This is 65 million tonnes below last season’s record, largely because of a 50 million fall for maize, with about half of that linked to poorer anticipated results in the U.S. Following another upward revision, the global wheat crop is placed only a fraction under the prior year’s peak.”

The IGC forecast world wheat production in 2017-18 at 748 million tonnes, up 6 million tonnes from August but down from 754 million tonnes forecast in 2016-17. World wheat ending stocks were forecast at 248 million tonnes, unchanged from August but up from 242 million tonnes in 2016-17.

“After an enormous harvest and with logistical constraints likely to limit exports, Russia’s wheat inventories could be the biggest in a quarter of a century, while those in China are seen at the highest on record,” the IGC noted in the report.

The IGC forecast 2017-18 maize production at 1.029 billion tonnes, up from 1.017 billion tonnes in August and compared with 1.079 billion tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection was raised to 1.058 billion tonnes from 1.055 billion tonnes in August.

Soybean production for 2017-18 was forecast at 348 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from August but down from 351 million tonnes in 2016-17. The consumption projection, meanwhile, was unchanged at 351 million tonnes. The IGC said global trade is expected to total 150 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from the August forecast.

The 2017-18 world outturn for rice is expected to total 483 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from the forecast in August. Consumption also is forecast to fall, to 486 million tonnes from 487 million tonnes.

The IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) increased 2.5%, the IGC said.

“After broad-based weakness in the month before, world grains, rice and oilseeds export quotations mostly firmed during September, the IGC GOI rising by a net 2%,” the IGC said. “Underpinning stemmed from a variety of factors, including generally solid export demand, logistical issues, currency market fluctuations and spells of less than ideal southern hemisphere crop weather.

“Wheat values advanced steadily, recouping about half of the previous month’s steep losses. While northern hemisphere harvest pressure kept a lid on row crop prices, seeding worries in Argentina and Brazil contributed to late-month advances in the soyabean index.”