Wheat, rice har­vests headed for record high

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE world’s wheat and rice pro­duc­ers are headed for a record har­vest this year, dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing the global food bill as prices fall.

Over­all ce­real pro­duc­tion is pro­jected to rise by 1.5 per­cent this year, the UN’s Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion said in its food out­look.

The bumper out­put will boost food in­ven­to­ries and bring prices down, push­ing down the value of to­tal food im­ports by 11 per­cent in US dollar terms “as lower bills for live­stock prod­ucts and ce­real-based food­stuffs more than off­set higher bills for fish, fruit, veg­eta­bles, and sugar”, it said.

How­ever, many poorer na­tions will fail to ben­e­fit from the wind­fall, the FAO warned, be­cause their cur­ren­cies have weak­ened, elim­i­nat­ing the ben­e­fits of cheaper food through a wors­en­ing ex­change rate.

Global wheat pro­duc­tion in­creases are be­ing led by In­dia, the US and Rus­sia, which is “poised to over­take the EU as the grain’s largest ex­porter”.

Rice pro­duc­tion has re­ceived a great boost from abun­dant mon­soon rains in Asia and out­put rises in Africa, adding to record crops for coarse grain in the US, Ar­gentina and In­dia. –

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