The outlook for global cereal supply in the 2013/14 marketing season remains generally favourable despite downward adjustments to forecasts for world cereal production and closing stocks, according to the latest issue of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
At 2,489 million tonnes, the FAO‘s current forecast for world cereal production in 2013 is marginally lower (by 3 million tonnes) than reported last month – mainly reflecting poorer prospects for the South America wheat crop – but this will still represent an 8% increase in world cereal production this year compared to 2012.
The change is a result of an anticipated 11% expansion in coarse grains output to about 1,288 million tonnes. The United States, the world’s largest maize producer, will account for the bulk of this increase as it’s expected to harvest a record maize crop of 348 million tonnes, 27% than the previous year’s drought-reduced level.
The FAO forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2014 has been revised downward by almost 2% since September to 559 million tonnes, but this is still 12% (62 million tonnes) mopre than their opening level, and the highest level since 2001/02.
International trade in cereals during 2013/14 is now forecast to reach 312.4 million tonnes, 1.6% (4.8 million tonnes) higher than in 2012/13 and slightly above the level expected in September. The trade expected to benefit from larger export availabilities of coarse grains.