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FAO raises 2023 world wheat production estimate

14 April 20233 min reading

In its Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, released on 7th April, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) raised its forecast for world wheat production in 2023, now pegged at 786 million tonnes, which would be 1.3 percent below the 2022 level and the second largest outturn on record. Near-record sown areas are expected in Asia, while dry conditions are impacting North Africa and southern Europe.

FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2022 has been lifted marginally to 2.777 million tonnes, albeit remaining 1.2 percent lower year-on-year. The latest increase, with almost all of the 2022 crop harvested, reflects minor upward revisions to coarse grain estimates for production in Australia and Ukraine.

Global rice production figures have undergone a small (0.6 million tonne) downward revision since March, largely due to official lower estimates of the Indonesian harvest concluded last December. This reduction outweighed an upgrade to output prospects for Cambodia, reflecting a strong pace of plantings during the ongoing dry-season cycle. As a result, world rice production in 2022/23 is now pegged at 516 million tonnes (milled basis), down 1.6 percent from 2021/22 record high, but still an above-average harvest.

World trade in cereals in 2022/23 is predicted to contract by 2.7 percent from the 2021/22 level to 469 million tonnes. The decline mostly reflects expectations of reduced trade of coarse grains, while global wheat trade is anticipated to increase. International trade in rice in 2023 is forecast to decline by 5.2 percent below the 2022 record high level.

FORECAST FOR 2023 WORLD WHEAT PRODUCTION

FAO’s forecast for world wheat production in 2023 has been raised marginally compared to preliminary expectations in March and now stands at 786 million tonnes, which would be the second largest outturn on record and only 1.3 percent below the 2022 level.

In the European Union, wheat production is seen increasing moderately year-on-year due to an expansion in plantings and generally good conditions at the start of spring, notwithstanding dryness in parts of Italy, Portugal and Spain. In the Russian Federation, although dry conditions in southwestern parts of the country eased, a decline in winter wheat plantings is expected to constrain production in 2023. In Ukraine, the economic impacts of the war, including low farm-gate prices, dissuaded many farmers from planting wheat. As a result, in addition to pockets of dryness in the southeast, a well below-average wheat harvest is forecast for 2023.

In the United States of America, with recent rains providing some relief to dry conditions in key wheat areas of the Central Plains and winter sowings up year-on-year, production is forecast to exceed the drought-reduced outturn in 2022. In Canada, resting on expectations of an upturn in plantings, wheat production in 2023 is projected to increase year-on-year.

In Asia, despite heatwaves during March in northern India, the 2023 wheat harvest is forecast to exceed the five-year average underpinned by a near-record sown area and favorable weather until February. Similarly, generally good crop conditions have prevailed in Pakistan and production is anticipated to exceed the five-year average. In Near East Asian countries, following uneven precipitation during the first months of the season, good rains in recent months improved crop conditions, including in Türkiye and Iran (Islamic Republic), both significant producers. In North Africa, rainfall deficits in Algeria, Tunisia and, albeit to a lesser degree, Morocco, are resulting in below-average wheat harvest expectations for 2023, following the already low outturns in 2022.


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