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IGC Raises Production, Consumption Estimates
Agriculture News, July 29, 2004
Improved prospects for crops in China, Iran and Canada lift IGC’s world WHEAT production forecast by 4m. tons compared with June, to 606.2m., the largest since 1997. However, adverse harvesting weather in several regions affected quality. The biggest increases in output in 2004 will be in Europe and the CIS. Wheat consumption, placed 1m. tons higher than before, at 604m., will nearly match production. The rise will be mainly in the animal feed sector as supplies recover in the EU and the CIS, although feed use of wheat will remain well short of historic levels. The trade forecast is almost unchanged from last month, at 99.8m. tons. This is 1.2m. less than the estimated 2003/04 figure, with reduced imports of milling wheat, flour and durum only partly offset by larger feed shipments. China’s imports are forecast to rise to 7m. tons, but purchases by the CIS and eastern Europe will fall sharply. The higher global crop estimate has resulted in a 2m. tons increase in forecast world carry-over stocks, placing the total just above the 2003/04 figure, after four consecutive years of decline. However, this mainly results from supply and demand adjustments for China, whose actual stock levels remain unclear. Closing stocks in the five major exporters are placed lower than last month, but should still see an increase of 4m. tons over 2003/04.

The global MAIZE production forecast is raised by 5m. tons, to 652.3m., up by 32m. from last year. This reflects record prospects in the US and a somewhat higher figure for China. A substantial recovery in output is also expected in the EU. Larger forecast US supplies would likely lift feed use, with world maize consumption adjusted up by 1m. tons, to 658m.

However, animal feed use in some countries could be affected by larger wheat supplies. Greater competition from alternative feeds and a sharp downturn in EU imports are expected to lead to a fall in world maize trade in 2004/05, although the figure is revised up this month. A potentially increased export quota for the second-half of 2004 may lift China’s exports, though shipments will fall well short of the past year’s. The improved crop outlook in the US lifts the carry-over in that country above the very low 2003/04 figure, but world stocks will decline again due to the continued fall in China.

World BARLEY production is forecast 2m. tons higher than before, at 146.2m., an increase of 6.2m. from 2003. Prospects improved in Canada, the EU, Russia and the US. Higher feed use in Russia raises the world consumption estimate to 143.1m. tons, but this remains slightly below that in 2003/04, mainly because of a downturn in the EU. The trade forecast is raised by 0.4m. tons, to 15.3m. (14.3m.), because of higher than expected feed demand in Iran. The increased level of shipments is also due to the expected upturn in China’s malting barley imports.

Revised estimates of trade in barley malt boost the 2003/04 total by 0.2m. tons, to nearly 5.8m. (grain equivalent), up from last year’s 5.6m. This is mainly because of recent larger than expected shipments to Venezuela, which set a record. This, and higher imports by several other countries, more than offset the declines in shipments to the world’s biggest malt buyers, Brazil, Russia and Japan. While there may be some increase in demand in Brazil, global trade in malt is expected to fall back again slightly in 2004/05.
MGR Archive 30.7.2004
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