FAO's monthly Cereal Supply and Demand Brief has upped the Organization's forecast for 2014 world cereal production by 14 million tonnes. At 2.5 billion tonnes (excluding rice in milled terms), the new projection would be 0.5 percent (13 million tonnes) short of last year's record.
More optimistic wheat forecasts were mostly behind the revision in cereal production compared to last month. Wheat production is now expected to reach 716.5 million tonnes — also just shy of last year's record harvest.
Wheat crops in China, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States are now projected to be larger than previously anticipated.
And production in Argentina, Brazil, China, the EU, India, and the Russian Federation has increased significantly, offsetting reductions in Australia, the United States and, especially, Canada — where the latest official forecast points to a decline of almost 10 million tonnes (26 percent).
For rice, however, the production outlook worsened compared to July by about 3 million tonnes, as an erratic rainfall pattern and concerns over El Niño's impacts on crops early next year marred prospects in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Still, at 500.4 million tonnes, global rice production (in milled rice equivalent ) is forecast to surpass the 2013 harvest by 0.4 percent.
All told, the size of global inventories of all cereals is anticipated to rise to their highest levels in 15 years as a result of two years of good harvests.
FAO now sees world cereal stocks reaching 616 million tonnes by the close of the seasons in 2015 — 12 million tonnes higher than the previous forecast, and over 6 percent (37 million tonnes) over stock levels at the start of the 2014-2015 season.
Thursday September 11, 2014/ FAO.