06 March 20185 min reading

According to IGC February grain report, grain trade will make an unprecedented peak in  2017/18 year with a volume of 361 million tons. According to the global estimations, in this season 2 billion 94 million of grain will be produced. This is a 2% decrease from the previous year’s production.


International Grains Council (IGC) has released its monthly grain report. Estimations on overall grain (wheat and coarse grains) production are revised particularly due to the examinations on the production in Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa. According to the estimations made as of 22 February, total production is determined as 2 billion and 94 million tons with a decrease of 94 million tons. This is a 2% decrease when compared with the previous month. With consumption unchanged and taking account of smaller opening inventories, the figure for carryover stocks is cut by 7million tons, to 610 million tons. The trade number is edged upward month over month, to an all-time high of 361 million tons which was 352 million tons last year.

WHEAT STOCKS TO DECREASE FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER 5 YEARS According to IGC, wheat harvest is expected to decrease to the decrease of cultivation area and the yield in 201/18 season. Depending on this estimation, it is the first time that wheat stocks are estimated to decrease since 2012/13 season. A slight difference is forecasted for the cultivation are of corn and the global production is estimated to increase due to the high production figures to come from South America. Positive market conditions may enliven the barley production that is in a trend of increase for the last three years.

SOYABEAN TRADE TO INCREASE BY %4 According to the report, world soyabean output is forecast at 347m t in 2017/18, only 1% lower than the prior year’s peak as record crops in North America mostly compensate for reduced outturns elsewhere. Total use is predicted at a new high, with aggregate end-season stocks likely to fall. However, major exporters’ inventories are seen broadly steady y/y as heavy accumulation in the USA offsets significant falls in Brazil and Argentina. The trade could be a new high on bigger sales to Asia, while a modest recovery in deliveries to the EU is expected. Trade will again be shaped by China’s appetite for imports.

3 MILLION TONS OF DECREASE IN RICE According to the International Grain Council report released on 22th of February, the 2017/18 global rice outturn is seen 1% smaller than last season’s peak, mostly because of the falls expected in major exporter countries, namely India and the USA. With supplies expected to tighten as consumption stays close to an all-time high, stocks are set to decline marginally, but including a steep drop – of about one-fifth year over year – in the major exporters. Following a year in which trade grew by 5.6 million tons year over year, volumes could retreat slightly in 2018, albeit remaining well above average. Global rice acreage is predicted to expand in 2018/19, with advances expected in leading exporters as traded volumes remain elevated.

CHINA TO BE A RICE EXPORTER USDA was another institution releasing a grain report. According to the report released by USDA, China which is well-known for its rice imports will have a rice export sufficient to have an important effect on the market. For several years, China has been the top rice importer, but now its exports are beginning to have a growing impact on trade patterns. A recent announcement to reduce the out-of-quota tariff for broken rice suggests openness to continued imports. Yet even in a year of record imports, China is also returning as a rice exporter. In the past few years when its prices have been well above global long-grain prices, it has maintained its core medium-grain markets in neighboring countries. Although domestic new-crop prices remain high, the old-crop prices are significantly lower. Over the past year, sales from reserve auctions have accelerated, bringing rice as old as 2013 into the market. China’s exports expanded in 2017, primarily low-priced, old-crop shipments to African markets. The re-entry to the African market (the top destination market around the turn of the century) in the latter part of the year coincided with the downturn of Thai old-crop rice exports to that region as its own government stocks have been nearly exhausted.

IRAQ IS ARID THIS YEAR Iraq’s grain imports volume will be high this year as dry weather will decrease domestic production sharply, Sami al-Araji, the head of Iraq’s National Investment Commission said at a conference in Kuwait. Iraq, a major importer of grains, consumes around 5 million tons of wheat a year. Rice and wheat are imported by the trade ministry for Iraq’s food rationing program which includes flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar and baby milk formula. Araji said Iraq would aim to encourage investment in its agricultural sector to achieve self-sufficiency in strategic crops over the next 10 years.

AUSTRALIAN WHEAT PRODUCTION TO DECREASE BY 38% Despite favorable weather conditions in parts of Australia this spring, total winter crop production dropped an estimated 36% to 37.8 million tons, including a 38% drop in wheat production to 21.2 million tons. Other major winter crops were down including barley by 33% to 8.9 million tons and canola by 15% to 3.7 million tons, according to the latest Australian Crop report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). Summer crop conditions have deteriorated over the last two months, ABARES said, with below average rainfall and above average temperatures.

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