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The International Grains Council on Nov. 25 made only minor changes to its forecasts for 2010-11 supply and demand of the world’s principal grains: wheat, corn and rice.

The I.G.C. forecast 2010-11 world wheat ending stocks at 180 million tonnes, down 1 million tonnes from its October projection and down 16 million tonnes, or 8%, from 196 million tonnes in 2009-10. World wheat ending stocks were 169 million tonnes in 2008-09 and 121 million tonnes in 2007-08. The latter wheat ending inventory was the smallest since 1981-82.

The I.G.C. projected world wheat production in 2010-11 at 644 million tonnes, unchanged from the October forecast but down 33 million tonnes, or 5%, from 677 million tonnes in 2009-10 and compared with a record outturn of 686 million tonnes in 2008-09. This year’s crop was projected to be the third largest ever produced.

“Harvesting gathered pace in the Southern Hemisphere with better production prospects reported in Brazil and Argentina; output in the latter is projected to reach 13 million tonnes, 5 million tonnes more than in 2009,” the I.G.C. said. “Rains continued to delay cutting in eastern Australia; the crop forecast is maintained at 23 million tonnes, but there are increasing reports of yield and quality damage in some areas. Output estimates for the United States and Ukraine are trimmed slightly.”

World wheat consumption in 2010-11 was projected at a record 660 million tonnes, up 2 million tonnes from the October forecast and up 10 million tonnes from 2009-10. The increase in the projection from October was tied to greater-than-expected use of “attractively priced” imported feed wheat in Pacific Asia, including South Korea and the Philippines.

Rising purchases of wheat for feed raised the I.G.C.’s wheat trade forecast for the current year by 2 million tonnes, to 122 million tonnes. The revised forecast still fell short of last year’s world wheat trade at 127 million tonnes and compared with record trade of 136 million tonnes in 2008-09.

The I.G.C. forecast the 2010-11 world corn ending stocks at 121 million tonnes, down 4 million tonnes from the October projection and down 31 million tonnes, or 20%, from 152 million tonnes in 2009-10. World corn production in 2010-11 was projected at 810 million tonnes, down 4 million tonnes from October and down 1 million tonnes from the previous year. World corn consumption in the current year was forecast at 840 million tonnes, unchanged from the October outlook but up 27 million tonnes, or 3%, from 813 million tonnes in 2009-10. World trade in corn was forecast at 94 million tonnes, unchanged from October and up 8 million tonnes, or 9%, from 86 million tonnes in 2009-10.

The I.G.C. forecast 2010-11 world rice ending stocks at 96 million tonnes, unchanged from October and up 3 million tonnes from 2009-10. It would be the largest ending inventory in eight years. World rice production was projected at a record 449 million tonnes, unchanged from October, up 9 million tonnes from 2009-10 and compared with 448 million tonnes in 2008-09, the previous record. World rice consumption was projected at a record 446 million tonnes, unchanged from October and up 9 million tonnes from 437 million in 2009-10. World rice trade in 2010-11 was projected at 31 million tonnes, unchanged from October and up 1 million tonnes from 2009-10.