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IGC revises downward global grain supply forecast

25 April 20244 min reading

The International Grains Council (IGC) has lowered its global grain supply outlook for the 2024-25 season compared to initial estimates last month. In its latest report released on April 18, the IGC cut its forecast for global grain production by 10 million tons from April to 2 billion 322 million tons due to a smaller US corn volume. However, total grain production still points to a new record. 

In the IGC's April Grain Market Report, world grain stocks for the 2024-25 season were revised down by 9 million tons compared to the previous month, despite the contraction in consumption, particularly feed use in the US. The Council expects global grain stocks for the coming season to be 592 million tons.

The IGC also reduced its global grain production estimate for the 2023-24 season by 3 million tons from the previous month to 2 billion 301 million tons, largely due to lower output projections for maize amid increasing disease and drought problems in parts of the southern hemisphere. However, this figure will still be the largest production ever. Global grain consumption will also reach a new high of 2 billion 310 million tons, with annual increases in feed, food and industrial use. Total carryover stocks, on the other hand, will contract again to a nine-year low (591 million tons), albeit with a slight increase in major exporters. In the report, the outlook for global grain trade is raised again to 427 million tons. This figure is the highest in three years.

Global grain production is expected to increase by 1% in 2024/25, reaching 2,322 million tons. This includes larger harvests for both wheat (an increase of 8 million tons) and coarse grains (an increase of 13 million tons). However, due to relatively tight opening stocks, overall availability is forecasted to only slightly rise year-on-year. With modest increases in overall consumption, year-end carryovers are projected to expand slightly, reaching 592 million tons. World trade is anticipated to decrease by 2% year-on-year, primarily due to reduced flows of wheat and maize.

WHEAT STOCKS TO DECLINE

The International Grains Council (IGC) has kept its forecast for global wheat production unchanged for the 2024-25 season. The Council anticipates a production of 798 million tons in the upcoming season. If this projection materializes, it would mark a 9 million ton increase from the current season and become the second-largest wheat volume on record, following the 803 million tons produced in 2022-23. The IGC predicts a year-on-year increase in global wheat production for 2024-25. However, it cautions that yields in North Africa may fall below recent average levels due to unfavorable growing conditions.

The report predicts that decreases in wheat production in India, Turkey, North Africa, and major exporting countries will lead to a decline in global carryover wheat stocks to their lowest level in years in 2024-25. According to the report, wheat carryover stocks are expected to decrease to 259 million tons, which is a reduction of 22 million tons compared to the 2022-23 season. The Council estimates the global wheat trade for this season at 203 million tons, while it expects a decrease to 197 million tons for the next season.

RICE PRODUCTION FORECAST HITS RECORD HIGH

In the April report, minimal adjustments were made to the rice supply and demand forecast for the 2023-24 season. Global carryover stocks are projected to be 167 million tons, which is 4 million tons less than the previous year, but up by 1 million tons from the previous month.

Because of decreased yields in China, the global rice production forecast for the 2024-25 season was adjusted downward by 1 million tons from the previous month to 520 million tons. Nevertheless, this figure, indicating an 8 million ton increase compared to the 2023-24 season, represents a record rice yield. The Council's rice trade forecast for the new season remained unchanged at 50 million tons annually.

Recent customs data showing higher-than-expected shipments to key markets have led to a slight upward revision in the outlook for world soybean trade in 2023-24, now estimated at about 167 million tons, albeit down 3% year-on-year. The latest forecasts for supply and demand in 2024-25 remain mostly unchanged, including record production (413 million tons), consumption (404 million tons), stocks (75 million tons), and trade (172 million tons).


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