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FAO raises world grain production forecast

04 March 20213 min reading

The FAO forecast for global grain production in 2020 is raised while early prospects for this year point to a modest increase in wheat production in the northern hemisphere but a decline in maize production in the southern hemisphere.

wheat production The latest forecast for world grain production in 2020 stands at nearly 2.744 million tonnes. Among the major grains, the forecast for world wheat production has been revised upward by 4.8 million tonnes to an all-time high of 766.5 million tonnes. The increase since the previous forecast rests mostly on better-than-expected yields that boosted production to its second highest level on record in both Australia and Canada while wheat production in Iraq is also lifted to reflect latest official estimates. The forecast for world rice production in 2020 has also been raised, by 2.2 million tonnes, to 510.6 million tonnes, up 1.8 percent year-on-year and marking an all-time high. The revision mainly stems from better than previously anticipated 2020 yield outturns in China, the Philippines and Guinea. By contrast, the forecast for world coarse grains production has been trimmed by nearly 5 million tonnes, reflecting sizeable cuts to maize production estimates in the United States of America and Ukraine, owing to poor weather conditions that curtailed yields. Looking ahead to 2021 cereal output, early production prospects for winter wheat crops in the northern hemisphere indicate a modest increase this year. In the United States of America, encouraged by higher prices, winter wheat acreage increased by 5 percent year-on-year. However, continued dry weather has partially curbed prospects, and field reports confirm inferior crop conditions compared to the average. The FAO forecast for world cereal trade in 2020/21 has been raised by as much as 10.6 million tonnes since December to 465.2 million tonnes, representing a hefty 25-million-tonne (5.7 percent) expected expansion from the previous season’s record high. Trade in all major cereals is foreseen to increase in 2020/21. Continued large purchases of maize and barley by China, to meet rising feed demand has pushed up the coarse grains 2020/21 (July/June) trade forecast by nearly 10 million tonnes since the previous forecast, now pegged at a record 232.3 million tonnes, up almost 22 million tonnes (10.2 percent) from last year’s level. wheat trade World wheat trade in 2020/21 (July/June) is forecast at 184.5 million tonnes, similar to the 2019/20 estimated level.  This month’s major revisions include an upward adjustment of 1 million tonnes to China’s purchases, offsetting a cut of 1 million tonnes in imports by Iraq on higher domestic production in 2020 than had been predicted earlier.
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