Record world grain harvest forecast despite troubles in Europe
Despite harvest troubles in many countries across Europe, the International Grains Council (IGC) is still forecasting a record world grain harvest this year.
With further upward revisions for wheat and maize (corn), the forecast for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2016/17 is 23m tonnes higher month-on-month.
It puts world output at an all-time peak of 2,069m tonnes, up by 3% year-on-year.
According to the IGC, the largest adjustment this month is for maize and is nearly entirely due to a sustained improvement in crop prospects in the US which partly offset by a reduced figure for the EU.
It also says ample availabilities and low prices are seen encouraging feed demand, which accounts for most of the 17m tonnes month-on-month consumption boost.
Despite this, the stocks number is raised by 4m tonnes from before, to a new high of 492m. At 330m tonnes, the IGC forecast for trade is up by 6m month on month, but is still 4% below the record in 2015/16.
Ireland is not the only country this summer to witness a disappointing harvest with yields across the continent hit by bad weather.
Continued hot and mostly dry conditions in much of Europe in July and early August have led to a further reduction in the yield forecasts for spring and summer crops, particularly for maize and sunflower crops.
According to the European Commission’s latest crop update, the yield outlook for winter cereals is slightly improved thanks to favourable weather conditions in northern parts of Europe.
Overall, the yield forecast for total EU cereals dropped to almost 10% below last year’s level, and to 1% below the five-year average.
Due to an improved outlook in the US amid favourable growing conditions, IGC says world soyabean production is projected 4m tonnes higher than in last month’s report, at a peak of 325m, an increase of 3% year-on-year.
With total uptake seen unchanged from July, the IGC says aggregate ending stocks are lifted slightly, to 31.5m tonnes, albeit still representing the second consecutive annual fall, including a mild retreat in the major exporters.
Meanwhile, it says global import demand is anticipated to rise further, to a high of 136m tonnes, on expanded deliveries to China.