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IGC anticipates record wheat harvest, falling global stocks

22 March 20244 min reading

The International Grains Council (IGC) has forecasted a record wheat harvest for the upcoming 2024/25 season, alongside a decline in global wheat stocks to a six-year low. Wheat production is expected to reach 799 million tons, with stocks projected to decrease to 262 million tonnes. Global wheat trade for 2024/25 is anticipated to decline to 196 million tons year-on-year, influenced by reduced imports by the EU and decreased deliveries to parts of Asia.

IGC recently released its latest Monthly Grains Market Report, providing a comprehensive overview of the global agricultural landscape. The report includes the first full set of supply and demand projections for the 2024/25 season. Despite a slightly smaller carry-in, grain supplies (production plus opening stocks) are forecasted to increase by 1% year-on-year (y/y), boosted by a potentially record crop pegged at 2.332 billion tons. Led by gains in feed uptake, consumption is assumed higher at 2.331 billion tons, also at a fresh peak. Including declines for wheat and maize, world trade is projected to drop by 5 million tons to 419 million tons (-1%). Although the outlook is finely balanced, ending stocks are tentatively seen edging upwards at 601 million tons. 

Total grains production in 2023/24 is forecast at 2.304 billion tons, reduced by 6 million tons m/m (month-on-month) on worsening maize prospects in the southern hemisphere. The consumption outlook is lowered by 11 million tons m/m, partly on a smaller number for feeding, but also on broader adjustments to estimates for other (non-food/feed/industrial) uses, resulting in a larger stocks projection. Global traded volumes are assessed higher at 424 million tons, with upgrades for maize and wheat. And the closing stocks are set to contract to at an eight-season low of 599 million tons. 

WORLD WHEAT STOCKS TO HIT SIX-YEAR LOW

The IGC revised its global wheat production forecast for the 2023/24 season to 789 million tons and projected production for the 2024/25 at 799 million tons. The Council maintained its wheat consumption forecast for this season unchanged at 803 million tons. World wheat stocks for the 2024/25 season are projected to decrease to 262 million tonnes from 267 million tonnes, a six-year low, with drawdowns in the key exporters, Turkey and India more than offsetting a potential accumulation in China, amid potentially larger domestic production and lower feed use.


Global wheat trade for the 2024/25 season is forecasted to decline from 201 million tons to 196 million tons year-on-year, tied to smaller expected imports by the EU, as well as reduced deliveries to parts of Asia, including to China, Turkey and Indonesia.

MARGINAL GROWTH IN CORN PRODUCTION

World corn production in 2024/25 is set to increase marginally to 1.227 billion tons to 1.233 billion tons y/y. Against the backdrop of firmer feed demand, global maize trade for 2024/25 is forecast at 179 million tons, albeit as improved harvests in a number of key importers could contain overall demand just short of the average.

GLOBAL RICE PRODUCTION TO REACH NEW HIGHS

The Council’s forecast for world rice supply and demand in 2023/24 is broadly unchanged, with production, consumption, stocks and trade all predicted to contract. Mainly driven by increases in Asia, the global output for 2024/25 is projected to grow by 2% year-on-year to reach a new high of 521 million tons, with total use and inventories also likely to increase. The Council estimated world rice consumption to be 519 million tons, with rice trade at 50 million tons. 


Reflecting a downgraded figure for Brazil, world soybean output in 2023/24 is expected to be marginally lower month-over-month, at 390 million tons, representing a 4% increase year-on-year. With expectations for total use maintained, aggregate end-season stocks are lifted by one million ton m/m and would be sizeably higher y/y. Incorporating data on recent shipment flows, the outlook for trade is cut by 2 million tons to 166 million tons (-3%). Boosted by acreage gains and improved yields, tentative projections for 2024/25 season indicate a larger global harvest of 413 million tons, with record utilization and further inventory accumulation anticipated. Trade is expected to recover by 4%, reaching 172 million tons due to larger deliveries to Asia, Africa, and the Americas, according to the report.


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