First forecasts for the 2013 wheat harvest point to production increasing to 690 million tonnes - 4.3 percent up on 2012. This would be the second largest crop on record, according to the latest issue of FAO's quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
The production hike is expected mostly in Europe, driven by increased plantings in response to high prices and a recovery in yields in some countries, notably the Russian Federation.
The outlook in the United States, while less favourable because of earlier drought conditions, has improved somewhat over the last few weeks.
At this stage of the season, with the bulk of the coarse grains and paddy crops yet to be planted it is still too early for even a preliminary global cereal forecast for 2013.
But prospects for the first 2013 coarse grains crops in the southern hemisphere are generally favourable. Rice prospects are also encouraging in several countries below the equator.
Thursday March 7, 2013/ FAO.