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World Grains Output to Reach New High in 2020-21: IGC

Warning that its projections are still highly tentative due to the covid-19 pandemic, the International Grains Council (IGC) is forecasting total world grains production to reach a new high in 2020-21.

In its first full set of supply-demand estimates for the upcoming crop year, the IGC pegged overall world production of wheat and coarse grains at 2.223 billion tonnes, up about 2% from a year earlier. However, with a largely similar increase in expected consumption and tighter carryin stocks, global ending stocks are seen at 605 million tonnes, down 3 million from 2019-20.

At an estimated 385 million tonnes, 2020-21 world grains trade is expected to be a new high, including increased shipments of wheat, corn and sorghum.

In its accompanying commentary, the IGC said that although covid-19-related transportation restrictions could hamper the distribution of farm inputs and disrupt spring fieldwork, it is assuming planting intentions will be fulfilled. “Nevertheless, the Council's projections for supply and demand are tentative until the progress and duration of the pandemic become clearer.”

For wheat, the IGC is forecasting total world new-crop output at a record 768 million tonnes, up 5 million from 2019-20. Trade and consumption are both expected higher in 2020-21 but ending stocks are nevertheless estimated at 283 million tonnes, a 9-million increase from the previous year.

World corn output is projected to increase to 1.157 billion tonnes from 1.116 billion in 2019-20. But with trade and consumption also both rising, new-crop corn ending stocks are seen at 274 million tonnes. That’s down 15 million tonnes from a year earlier and follows a 34-million year-over-year reduction in corn ending stocks in 2019-20.

Meanwhile, global soybean production in 2020-21 is projected at 366 million tonnes, versus 341 million the previous year and 362 million in 2018-19. Ending stocks are seen 2 million tonnes higher at 40 million, although still far below the 2018-19 ending stocks level of 55 million.

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