The expected global grain output stands at 2,765 million tonnes, an all-time high and 58 million tonnes above the 2019 outturn, according to FAO. Global wheat production has been reduced by 1.4 million tonnes since July, which puts this year’s output at 760.1 million tonnes. FAO’s forecast for world trade in grain in 2020/21 is pegged at 441.4 million tonnes, 6.3 million tonnes above the 2019/20 level.
Global agricultural markets remain stable as food trade has remained more resilient than overall trade. Global production levels for the three most widely consumed staples (rice, wheat and maize) are at or near all-time highs and trade at prices that are close to their January 2020 levels. Over the past few weeks, the prices of certain cash crops from developing countries have rebounded and are also now back to their January levels.
FAO lowered its forecast for world cereal production in 2020 by 25 million tonnes (0.9 percent) in September compared to the previous forecast in July. Notwithstanding this downturn in prospects, the expected global cereal output still stands at 2,765 million tonnes, an all-time high and 58 million tonnes above the 2019 outturn. This recent production cutback results from a reduction in the world coarse grains forecast, now pegged at 1,496 million tonnes, down 23.5 million tonnes from the previous forecast in July. The bulk of the decline relates to a 26.3-million-tonne downward revision to the maize production forecast in the USA.
The forecast for global barley production in 2020 has been trimmed by 1.2 million tonnes, driven by lower yield prospects in the European Union, and now stands at 154.2 million tonnes. Global wheat production has been reduced by 1.4 million tonnes since July, which puts this year’s output at 760.1 million tonnes, marginally below the good outturn of 2019. The recent decrease is mostly the result of cuts to the production forecasts in Argentina, the European Union and the USA. Global rice production in 2020 is projected at an all-time high of 509 million tonnes (milled basis).
FAO’s forecast for world trade in grain in 2020/21 is pegged at 441.4 million tonnes, 6.3 million tonnes above the 2019/20 level. The forecast for world wheat trade in 2020/21 (July/June) has been raised to 181.5 million tonnes, marginally above the 2019/20 record level. The more robust wheat import demand in 2020/21 will likely be met by larger shipments from Australia and Russia, offsetting an anticipated cut in exports by the European Union.
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- Market outlook for world grains and oilseeds
IGC lowered the outlook for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2020/21 by 3m t m/m to 2,227m, with a cut for maize partly offset by increases for barley and oats. With upward revisions for wheat, maize and barley, the projection for total grains trade in 2020/21 (Jul/Jun) is boosted by 3m t m/m, to a record 398m. With data showing heavier than anticipated shipments in recent weeks, IGC’s figure for world soybean trade in 2019/20 is raised by 1m t, to a record of 164m. Global milled rice production in 2020/21 is projected to rebound from the prior year’s fractional decline, to a new peak of 504m t.
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- Counting Chickens
“This year, the grain trade has not been able to build up big long positions of cheap ex-harvest wheat due to the loss of appetite by banks to provide credit. Due to micro and macro factors, banks fell out of love with agriculture this season. Borrowing money for commodity trading has become harder as banks tighten their lending standards. In my view, this will make the market more reactive to the future price moves. This also means, that no matter how sharp price swings are, they allow to capture profit margins to a much lesser extent. Against this background, consistency is the key to success this season.”
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- Expectations from the new season in the Black Sea region
“Russia remains the key wheat producer in the region, with a bumper crop expected this season. UkrAgroConsult’s forecast is at 81 MMT, but there are estimates above 83 MMT in the market. Ukraine harvested a good wheat crop in MY 2019/20, and its 2019/20 exports hit an all-time high. The season’s leader is Egypt, but the most active importer was Turkey, which boosted imports by +296% from MY 2018/19. UkrAgroConsult forecasts 2020/21 exports at 17.5 MMT.”
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