IGC forecasts larger world wheat crop

Most of the increased production will be absorbed by higher demand and end-season stocks are expected to rise by only two million tonnes

World wheat production in 2013-14 is tentatively expected to rise by four per cent, the International Grains Council said Feb. 21, issuing its first forecast for next season’s supply-and-demand balance for the commodity.

“Much (of the increase) is expected to be absorbed by higher demand and end-season stocks are likely to rise by just two million tonnes, following a 21-million decline in 2012-13,” the IGC said in a monthly update.

The IGC maintained its forecast for the 2012-13 wheat crop at 656 million so a four per cent rise would equate to an extra 26 million tonnes, taking production to around 682 million.

Wheat production would still fall shy of the 2011-12 crop of 693 million tonnes.

The drop in global wheat production in 2012-13 largely reflected much smaller crops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan which were also expected to limit shipments from the key exporting region in 2013-14.

“Black Sea region supplies will likely be capped by below-average beginning stocks, underpinning demand for other exporters,” the IGC said.

The IGC also raised its forecast for global maize output in 2012-13 by five million tonnes to 850 million, still well below the prior season’s 877 million.

The upward revision mainly reflected improved outlooks for crops in Brazil and India.

“Despite some less-than-ideal weather in recent months, Brazil and Argentina are still set to harvest record crops,” the IGC said, putting Brazil’s maize crop at 74 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 71 million.

The IGC raised its forecast for India’s maize crop by 2.6 million tonnes to 20.6 million.

A marginal rise in global maize area for the 2013-14 crop was anticipated.

“Planting of the 2013-14 (maize) crop will soon commence in the Northern Hemisphere and the global area is tentatively forecast up 0.6 per cent year on year led by an anticipated further expansion in the U.S.,” the IGC said.

Global stocks of grains at the end of the 2012-13 season were upwardly revised to 326 million tonnes, up four million for a previous projection but still at a six-year low, the IGC said.

Global soybean production in 2012-13 was forecast at 269 million tonnes, slightly down from a previous projection of 271 million but well above the prior season’s 238 million.

“World soybean production in 2012-13 is forecast slightly lower than before, but is still up 13 per cent year on year on prospects for bumper South American crops,” the IGC said.

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