August 30, 2008


2008-09 global grain output forecast up 3.7 percent on-year


The International Grains Council (IGC) on Friday (August 29, 2008) forecast 2008-09 global grain output at 1.75 billion tonnes, up 3.7 percent or 62 million tonnes on-year.


This new forecast is also an increase of 31 million tonnes from last month's projection. The IGC increased its forecast for corn, wheat and barley production, citing that several northern hemisphere countries were achieving record yields.


Global 2008-09 corn production is forecast at 774 million tonnes, up 15 million tonnes from the July forecast, but still a drop of 11 million tonnes from the 2007-08 crop.


"Cool, damp weather in the US maintained higher-than-average crop ratings," said IGC. "Prospects also improved in China and Mexico."


IGC revised up its US corn crop forecast by 10 million tonnes from last month's report to 305 million tonnes.


However, the report said farmers in Argentina may plant more soy at the expense of corn due to low domestic corn prices and high input costs.


Global 2008-09 wheat output was forecast at 672 million tonnes, up 10 million tonnes from IGC's July projection and up 63 million from last season's crop.


IGC said wheat crops were particularly improved in the EU, Russia and Ukraine.


Global barley production was also projected at 150 million tonnes, up from the July forecast of 146 million tonnes and the 2007-08 crop of 135 million tonnes.


Despite upward revisions for grain consumption, the larger crops also prompted IGC to raise its 2008-09 global carryout forecasts.


World grain ending stocks were forecast at 300 million tonnes, up 19 million tonnes from the July report and up 18 million tonnes on the year.


"Easier supplies and lower prices will boost consumption, particularly of lower grade wheat for feed and (corn) for fuel ethanol," said IGC.


IGC raised its global corn carryout forecast for 2008-09 to 112 million tonnes, up 9 million tonnes from the July projection, but still down 15 million tonnes from 2007-08.


Despite the upward revision IGC said world corn carryout will remain at a five-year-low.


The highest since the 2002-03 crop year, world wheat endings stocks for 2008-09 were projected at 151 million tonnes. This is up from the IGC's July forecast of 144 million tonnes and up 28 million tonnes on the year.

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