IGC sees global maize deficit

Reuters / World maize production should climb in 2012-13 but is likely to remain below consumption as demand for meat boosts feed use, International Grains Council senior economist Amy Reynolds said March 14.

Reynolds, in a presentation at the Agra Europe outlook conference, put the 2012-13 global maize crop at 880 million tonnes, up from 864 million in the prior season.

Global consumption was seen rising to 884 million from 871 million with the increase driven mainly by higher feed use of 502 million, up from the prior season’s 490 million.

“Rising demand for meat, especially in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa, will help to drive increased use of feed,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the figures for maize were provisional and would be firmed up in the monthly report due out later this month. The IGC produced its first 2012-13 supply-demand balance for wheat in last month’s report.

“On the basis of these provisional figures the outlook for maize is certainly less comfortable than for wheat,” she said.

Higher maize area

Reynolds said she expected global maize plantings to rise by around one per cent, driven by increased area in both the United States and Ukraine.

“Any increase in (maize) supply will be absorbed by greater use,” she said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, at its Outlook conference last month, projected that U.S. farmers would plant 94 million acres of maize (corn) this spring, the largest area since the Second World War and up from 91.9 million last year.

But its more authoritative forecast, the annual prospective plantings report that is based on farmer surveys, will be released on March 30.

Reynolds said the 2012-13 global wheat crop was seen falling by about 15 million tonnes to 680 million tonnes but total supply is to remain around the previous season’s levels, boosted by higher opening stocks.

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