May 21, 2010


IGC hikes world corn estimate on good start



The good start for the US corn crop has prompted International Grains Council (IGC) analysts to hike by 13 million tonnes their forecast for the global harvest, setting it on course to set a record by a margin.


Global corn production will hit 822 million tonnes, beating last year's record harvest by 15 million tonnes, the intergovernmental group said.


Prospects had "improved significantly" for all grains in May, the IGC said, also raising its estimate for world wheat production. But hopes for corn had grown particularly, notably for the crop in America, the biggest producer, where output was "now expected to reach a new record".


Most of the extra corn output would be swallowed up by industrial users, such as ethanol plants, the IGC said, raising its forecast of consumption to a record 826 million tonnes.


World stocks will at 142 million tonnes, end 2010-11 two million tonnes higher than previously expected, but will still record a three-year low.


However, all of an extra two million tonnes in wheat production will feed through into extra stocks, which the IGC said would now end the marketing year at 201 million tonnes, their highest for nine years, with much of the increase in China and India.


Conditions for northern hemisphere wheat growers had remained mostly beneficial, the council said, while trimming hopes for the EU harvest.


Separately, France, the EU's biggest producer, raised its hopes for sowings for the 2010-11 soft wheat harvest by 9,000 hectares to 4.95 million hectares, leaving them 4.4% above those for the previous year.


Meanwhile, Algeria - one of the world's biggest wheat importers, and notably from France - said that its grains crop had been "dramatically affected" by rain over the past few days.