Latest indications confirm a decline in world cereal production in 2012 from the record in 2011. The decrease will result in a significant reduction in world inventories by the close of seasons in 2013 even with world demand sliding as a result of high prices.
FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2012 has been revised downward slightly (0.4 percent) since the previous update in September, to 2 286 million tonnes. At the current forecast level, world cereal production in 2012 would be 2.6 percent down from the previous year’s record crop but close to the second largest in 2008. The overall decrease comprises a 5.2 percent reduction in wheat production, and a 2.3 percent reduction for coarse grains, while the global rice crop is seen to remain virtually unchanged.
World cereal utilization in 2012/13 marketing season is forecast at 2 314 million tonnes, down marginally from the previous season but 2 percent below the 10-year trend. Global wheat utilization is likely to reach 687 million tonnes, pointing to a small (1 percent) decline from the previous season, mostly on reduced feed use after the previous season’s exceptionally elevated use of wheat for animal feed. Total utilization of coarse grains is forecast at 1 154 million tonnes in 2012/13, also down slightly from the previous season, with most of the reduction reflecting a decline in maize utilization to 866 million tonnes, down nearly 1 percent from the revised estimate of 874 million tonnes in 2011/12. The decline in maize consumption reflects an anticipated contraction in industrial usage of maize, largely because of an anticipated drop of 10 percent (13 million tonnes) in the crop usage for production of biofuels in the United States. By contrast, world rice utilization is set to increase by 1.2 percent to 474 million tonnes, resulting in stable per caput food consumption.
Thursday October 4, 2012/ FAO.