IGC cuts global wheat crop outlook, raises maize
By Nigel Hunt
LONDON (Reuters) – Global wheat stocks should fall to a four-year low by the end of the 2012/13 season with the crop outlook dimming in the European Union, Russia and Morocco, the International Grains Council said in a monthly update on Thursday.
The IGC said global maize stocks, in contrast, should climb to a three-year high by the end of the 2012/13 season buoyed by record global production.
World wheat production in 2012/13 was cut by 5 million tonnes to 671 million, sharply below the prior season’s 676 million while end-season stocks were downwardly revised by 15 million tonnes to 191 million, a four-year low.
The IGC reduced its forecast for Russia’s wheat crop by 3 million tonnes to 55 million, now slightly below the prior season’s 56.2 million.
The outlook for crops in the Black Sea region has been reduced by a spring drought.
“Adverse conditions lowered harvest expectations in the EU, Russia and Morocco,” the IGC said.
The IGC cut its forecast for the EU wheat crop by nearly 2 million tonnes to 133.1 million, down from the prior year’s 138.2 million while Morocco’s crop was cut to 3.3 million from 4.0 million, well below the previous year’s 5.8 million.
RECORD MAIZE CROP
Global maize production in 2012/13 was upwardly revised by 13 million tonnes to a record 913 million mainly reflecting an improved outlook in the United States, China and Brazil.
“Early seeding has reinforced expectations for a huge U.S. harvest,” the IGC said.
The IGC raised its forecast for 2012/13 world maize carryover stocks by 6 million tonnes to 141 million, well above the prior season’s 129 million.
“World stocks are projected to increase to their highest level in three years, almost entirely attributable to the U.S., the IGC said.
The IGC increased its forecast for world maize consumption in 2012/13 by 9 million tonnes to 902 million.
“World availabilities are expected to be more comfortable (than during 2011/12) and maize could replace some wheat in livestock rations,” the IGC said.