In the latest International Grains Council’s Grain Market report published on September 21, the global total grains production forecast for the 2023/24 season remains steady at 2,294 million tonnes.
The report highlighted promising results in Russia and Ukraine, where good harvests have contributed to the overall forecast. Modest increases are also expected for maize and sorghum production, with maize projected to see a notable increase of 60 million tonnes. This, coupled with gains in world harvested area and yields, is set to boost total grain production by 1% year-on-year.
On the flip side, the report noted that challenging weather conditions in Australia, Canada, and Argentina have resulted in downgrades for wheat, sorghum, and oats. Wheat production is expected to decrease by 21 million tonnes, while barley and oats will see cuts of 10 million and 4 million tonnes, respectively.
GLOBAL GRAIN CONSUMPTION HITS RECORD HIGH
The forecast predicts a record world consumption of grains at 2,305 million tonnes, a 2% increase driven by anticipated recovery in feed and industrial use and rising food demand. And end-season inventories are predicted to decline by 2%, falling to 588 million tonnes, mainly due to decreases in wheat and barley stocks. Exporter carryovers, notably in the US maize stocks, are expected to rise by 8% year-on-year. In contrast, world imports are projected to decline for the third consecutive year, down by 4% to 410 million tonnes.
The report also touched on the soybean market, with global soybean import demand for 2022/23 estimated slightly higher at 169 million tonnes due to significant shipments at the end of the current trade year. In 2023/24, world soybean output is expected to reach a peak of 396 million tonnes, even though a downgraded US crop outlook marginally reduced this figure month-on-month. Stocks are trimmed by 2 million tonnes. Trade is predicted to remain broadly unchanged year-on-year.
Regarding rice, global inventories for 2022/23 are expected to rise by almost one-fifth year-on-year, thanks to a larger global harvest and a second consecutive annual decline in uptake. World rice production in 2023/24 is predicted to reach a record 523 million tonnes, a 2% increase. Despite steady consumption, reserves are projected to be 2 million tonnes lower than in August. World rice trade in 2023 is forecast to contract by 5% year-on-year, in large part reflecting restricted Indian exports.