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IGC forecasts record-breaking global grains output

15 January 20243 min reading

The IGC predicts that the world total grains outturn, comprising wheat and coarse grains, will be the largest on record at 2,307 million tons, showing a 2% year-on-year increase primarily attributed to a solid rebound in corn production. Global grain consumption is expected to climb by 2% year-on-year to 2,314 million tons, with feed, food, and industrial uptake reaching fresh peaks. However, global inventories may contract to 590 million tons, marking the seventh successive drawdown. Cumulative world trade, including smaller wheat, corn, and barley shipments, is forecasted to retreat by 3% year-on-year to 415 million tons.

The International Grains Council (IGC) recently published its eagerly awaited January Grain Market Report (GMR), offering a comprehensive outlook on major commodities worldwide. The report provides insights into the global production, consumption, and trade scenarios for key grains.

The IGC's report reveals an optimistic perspective for total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in the 2023/24 season. Linked primarily to adjustments for corn, along with larger barley and wheat harvests compared to the November GMR, the outlook shows an increase of around 11 million tons month-on-month. Despite the additional supply being absorbed by increased feed use, global carryover stocks are lifted by 5 million tons, reaching 590 million tons.

WORLD WHEAT STOCKS TO HIT SIX-SEASON LOW

The report indicates a 2% decline in global wheat production, dropping from 804 million tons in 2022/23 to 788 million tons in 2023/24. Additionally, global wheat trade is expected to decrease by 5%, from 208 million tons in the previous season to 198 million tons. The Council foresees an increase in wheat demand, with global consumption reaching 804 million tons, up from 795 million tons in the previous season. Global wheat stocks are projected to decrease to 266 million tons, down by 16 million tons from the preceding season.

The Council's first projections for 2024/25 wheat supply and demand point to a slightly larger harvest year-on-year, with potentially better yields seen more than compensating for a modest pullback in acreage. With offsetting changes for food and feed, consumption is projected to match the prior year's record level and exceed production, potentially leading to a further drawdown in stocks, to a six-season low. A modest retreat in trade is predicted, including smaller deliveries to China and the EU.

Owing to a scaling back of expectations for leading Asian producers, 2023/24 world rice production is forecast 10 million tons lower m/m at 511 million tons, with the net drop in availabilities channeled to reduced figures for consumption and stocks; the 5 million tons m/m cut in global inventories is linked to smaller numbers for China and the major exporters. Trade is seen near-unchanged m/m, at 50 million tons, with a downgraded projection for India contrasting with increases for other suppliers.

The global soybean production is expected to peak at 392 million tons, with consumption predicted at a record 384 million tons. Aggregate inventories are set to climb to 66 million tons, and world import demand could retreat by almost 4 million tons to 168 million tons due to decreased buying interest from China and Argentina.

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