The International Grains Council last week lowered by 5 million tonnes its forecast of global wheat production in 2012-13 to 676 million tonnes. The forecast for the coming year was down 19 million tonnes, or 3%, from a record 695 million tonnes as the 2011-12 world outturn and would constitute the world’s smallest wheat crop since 611 million tonnes in 2007-08.
The I.G.C. said, “This month’s cut is mainly because of lower European Union crop prospects caused by severe winter weather and a dry spring. Compared with last year, crops are expected to fall in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Argentina, Morocco and Australia, but better crops are forecast in Russia, Canada, the United States and India. The world wheat area is forecast to be little changed from last year, at 221.1 million hectares.” Last year, world wheat yields set a record. The forecast for 2012-13 reflected a return to trend yields.
The I.G.C. lowered its E.U. wheat production forecast by 5.8 million tonnes, to 133.1 million tonnes. The worst cold weather damage was indicated in France, Germany and central and eastern Europe. Dry conditions lowered crop prospects in Greece, Italy and Spain.
The I.G.C. forecast 2012-13 world wheat ending stocks at 206 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from the previous projection and down 4 million tonnes from 210 million tonnes as the forecast for the current year.
World wheat consumption in 2012-13 was forecast at 680 million tonnes, down 3 million tonnes from the previous projection and down 4 million tonnes from a record 684 million tonnes in 2011-12. The I.G.C. noted forecast growth in food and industrial use of wheat would be more than offset by an 8-million-tonne drop in projected world feed use compared with the current year’s estimated record of 126 million tonnes.
World trade in wheat in 2012-13 was forecast at 135 million tonnes, down 1 million tonnes from the previous projection and down 5 million tonnes from the estimated 140 million tonnes in the current year.
The I.G.C. left unchanged its forecast for world corn production in 2012-13 at a record 900 million tonnes, up 4% from 865 million tonnes in 2011-12, the current record. The I.G.C. commented, “World supplies (in 2012-13) could therefore top 1 billion tonnes for the first time, with exportable availabilities also likely to be more comfortable due to potentially very large crops in the United States and Ukraine.”
The I.G.C. forecast world corn consumption in 2012-13 at a record 893 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous projection and up from 869 million tonnes as the forecast for the current year. World corn trade in 2012-13 was forecast at a record 100 million tonnes, up 6 million tonnes from 2011-12. World corn ending stocks in 2012-13 were forecast at a still tight 135 million tonnes, up 6 million tonnes from the previous forecast and up 7 million tonnes from a projected 128 million tonnes in 2011-12.