World cereal production will be at record levels this year, according to the latest indications, with production to reach an all-time record of more than 2.5 billion tonnes in 2014.
Buoyed by bumper crops in Europe and a record maize output in the US, this year’s cereal output should reach 2.532 billion tonnes, including rice in milled terms, or 0.3% higher than 2013, according to FAO’s latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report.
The record global cereal harvest in 2014 will outpace projected world cereal utilization in 2014/15, allowing stocks to rise to their highest level since 2000 and pushing the worldwide stock-to-use ratio, a proxy measure for supply conditions, to rise to 25.2%, its highest level in 13 years, according to FAO.
However, the report also warns that food insecurity is worsening in a number of countries due to civil conflicts, adverse weather and the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. Some 38 countries are at risk of food insecurity, including 29 in Africa, three more countries than reported in October.
Ebola triggered one of the biggest shocks to West Africa’s agriculture and food sectors, as it started to spread when crops were being planted and expanded throughout the farming cycle, especially in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
FAO warned that local rice prices and those for cassava, the region’s second staple food, showed notable increases in Freetown and other cities in September.