FAO updated its forecasts, projecting record global cereal stocks by the end of the 2017 seasons. According to the latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, production prospects, especially for wheat and coarse grains, have improved progressively since the start of the current marketing season.
FAO now expects worldwide cereal stocks to rise to 670 million tonnes, up 1.4 percent from the previous season.
Wheat inventories are seen to be rising to a new record of 238.5 million tonnes, with the increase concentrated in China, the United States and the Russian Federation. Global rice inventories have been scaled up to 171 million tonnes, while coarse grains stocks are projected to rise to 261 million tonnes, as a large build-up of maize inventories in the United States more than offsets a hefty drawdown in China.
The projection for world cereal production in 2016 was raised to 2 577 million tonnes, 1.7 percent above the 2015 output. Record output levels are forecast for rice and maize.
Looking forward to the 2017 season, low price prospects are expected to lead to a contraction in the area planted with wheat in the U.S., although plantings are expected to increase in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, India and Pakistan.
Maize plantings in Argentina and Brazil, currently under way, are poised to increase, buoyed by improved returns and favourable weather.
In South Africa, maize plantings are forecast to jump by nearly a third over last year's level. Conducive weather conditions point to a strong rebound in the country's maize harvest from the 2016 drought-reduced level.
Thursday December 8, 2016/ FAO.