Global grain re­vised down

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS - Stephen Cado­gan

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.

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