Global grain production forecast to fall to three-year lows

09 December 20222 min reading

In its latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, FAO further cut its forecast for world cereal production in 2022, which now stands at 2 756 million tonnes, a 2.0 percent drop from 2021. The reduction largely reflects low maize production prospects in Ukraine, where the impact of the war has made post-harvesting operations prohibitively expensive.

Global coarse grain production in 2022 is pegged at 1 462 million tonnes following an almost 5-million-tonne cut to the forecast and is now seen to decline by 3.1 percent compared to the 2021 outturn. The recent reduction principally reflects lower maize harvest prospects in Ukraine, where the impact of the war has made post-harvesting operations prohibitively expensive, compelling many farmers to leave planted areas unharvested. Latest official data also confirm a smaller-than-previously-predicted crop in Serbia, where drought has sharply curtailed yields. Conversely, small upward revisions are made to production estimates in Türkiye and Paraguay.

Global wheat production in 2022 has been lowered by 2.7 million tonnes down to 781.2 million tonnes, nevertheless, it remains a record high. The month-on-month cutback almost entirely concerns Argentina, where prolonged dry weather conditions are impairing yields, which have dragged down production prospects. Partly offsetting this decline, production estimates are raised for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Kazakhstan, resting on higher-than-expected yields.

Global rice production in 2022 remains forecast to fall 2.4 percent below the 2021 all-time record to an overall volume of 512.8 million tonnes (milled basis). This level is slightly higher than the November expectations, largely due to a better-than-earlier-anticipated outcome in Madagascar and historical output revisions, namely for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malaysia and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Looking ahead, planting of the 2023 winter wheat crop is underway amid concerns over the affordability of key agricultural inputs and adverse weather conditions in the United States of America and the Russian Federation, although elevated crop prices could help to maintain an above-average area globally. In the southern hemisphere, coarse grain crops are being sown, and official forecasts in Brazil point to a record high area being sown to maize.

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