Global grain revised down
World total grain harvest predictions have been revised down to a three-year low of 2,059 million tonnes. Significant downgrades for wheat and barley in the EU and the CIS (Russian Commonwealth) are largely behind an 18m tonnes monthon-month cut in the forecast for world total wheat and coarse grains production in 2018/19.
And with disappointing results from ongoing harvesting, there is the potential for further output cuts, according to the International Grains Council.
With tighter supplies and sustained consumption growth, a stocks contraction to the lowest level in four seasons is envisaged. Global trade tensions continued to weigh on market sentiment for much of July, but escalating concerns about production prospects contributed to a late month 3% upturn in average global prices, led by wheat and barley price gains.
A particularly steep production decline of 37m tonnes is anticipated for the wheat crop, to a five-year low of 721m tonnes. Global reductions are also expected for barley, oats and rye.
A projected increase for maize of 8m tonnes largely hinges on a recovery in output in South America, where planting for 2018/19 is still some months away.
Led by gains in food and industrial uses, global total grains consumption is seen climbing by about 1%, to a fresh high of 2,128m tonnes. EU-28 average wheat yields have been forecast 2.4% below the five-year average, at 5.59t/ ha, with yields hit hardest are countries in the Baltics and across northern and northern central Europe.
These crop concerns drove UK wheat futures past the £180/t mark on July 24 for the first time since May 2013. UK wheat futures for November were at £184.50 on July 26. On July 12, the USDA slashed its forecast of world wheat supplies and stocks in 2018/19 by 5.3m tonnes, 260.9m, drive by challenging weather in key exporting countries such as Russia, Australia, the Ukraine and the EU.
World soyabean stocks in 2018/19 are forecast to reach a record high of 98.27m tonnes, and futures prices have weakened.
Winter wheat at the Athgarvan Mill in Co Kildare. With a much reduced yield expected, IFA Grain Committee Chairman Mark Browne has caalled on the government to halt the decline of the Irish tillage sector.