November 06, 2003



World 2003 Wheat Output Seen At 562 Million MT, Down 1.5% On Year


Global 2003 wheat output is forecast at 562 million metric tons, down 1.5% on the year and up six million tons on its September estimate, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.


This upward revision is due to better-than-expected harvest results in North America, firmer information on the crop outcome in Iraq and an upward harvest revision for Australia, the FAO said in its November Food Outlook report.


"On the downward side, the estimate for Europe, although not sufficient to offset the aforementioned increases, fell further as it became clear that the impact of drought in Europe had been greater than had been anticipated earlier," the FAO said.


"At the current forecast level, world wheat output in 2003 will finish 1.5% below last year's already below-average harvest."


World total wheat stocks are seen at 128.3 million tons, down 29.1% on the year, driven by large reductions in India and several countries in Europe, FAO said.


With regard to coarse grain output in 2003, the FAO pegged production at 918.2 million tons, up 4.1% on the year, slightly higher than FAO's September forecast.


"This was mostly as a result of positive weather-related adjustments for Australia and for some countries in Africa, North America and South America, where harvesting has been continuing over the past few weeks or is just about to start," the report said.


As for rice, the FAO forecasts 2003 production at 592 million tons, two million tons less than the September forecast, but still up 2.5% on the year.


"Most of the 2003 revision reflects a severe worsening of prospects in China from adverse weather, as well as some deterioration in growing conditions for the crops in Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka.


Total global cereal output for 2003 is put at 1,874 million tons, up 38 million tons or nearly 2.1% on the year, the FAO said.


Total global cereal stocks for 2003 is pegged at 382 million tons, up 10 million tons from the September report, but still down 19.7% on the year.


The following are tables of world cereal supply and demand for the 2003-04 marketing year and production for 2003 harvests.


(Table of FAO production, supply, use, trade and stock forecasts and estimates in million metric tons)


                              2001-02     2002-03      2003-04

Production(1)            1,906          1,837         1,874

 Wheat                        589            570            562

 Coarse Grains            917             882           918

 Rice (milled)              400             385            394

Supply(2)                 2,541         2,425         2,350

Consumption            1,949         1,952         1,970

Trade(3)                     242            237            227

Ending Stocks(4)         588            476            382



   (1) Data refers to calendar year of first year shown. Rice in milled equivalent.

   (2) Production plus opening stocks

   (3) July/June basis for wheat, coarse grains, and calendar year (second year shown) for rice.

   (4) May not equal difference between supply and consumption due to differences in individual country arketing years.



Source: FAO