The cereal output estimate for 2014 was raised to 2 544 million tonnes mainly due to a larger than anticipated maize harvest in the European Union, according to FAO's latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief. If confirmed, global cereal output in 2014 would outstrip the 2013 record by 1 percent.
Looking ahead to the 2015 season, global wheat production is expected to reach 722 million tonnes in 2015, around 1 percent below the current estimate for 2014, mainly due to reduced plantings in the EU. While China, India and Pakistan are all expected to harvest close to 2014's record levels, production is predicted to decline in the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
As for coarse grains, plantings are only about to start in the northern hemisphere. However, early indications in the southern hemisphere, where crops are more advanced, point to a decline in 2015 production from last year's high levels. In particular, South Africa's maize production is expected to decline sharply, by 33 percent, following severe precipitation shortfalls earlier this year.
Rice production prospects for 2015 are generally positive in the southern hemisphere countries, with sizeable increases forecast in Indonesia and Sri Lanka in Asia and Colombia and Paraguay in South America. In Australia, by contrast, output is officially anticipated to fall by 18 percent, reflecting lingering shortages of irrigation water.
FAO's forecast for world cereal utilization in 2014/15 has been raised by nearly 17 million tonnes since March, to 2 493 million tonnes. The increase largely reflects historical revisions in China and India.
The forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of crop seasons ending in 2015 has also been revised up sharply since last month's report and now stands at 645 million tonnes. The increase mainly reflects upward revisions to wheat and maize stocks in China.
Based on the current forecasts for cereal stocks and utilization, the cereal stocks-to-use ratio is expected to reach 25.9 percent in 2014/15, its highest value since 2001/02.
Thursday April 2, 2015/ FAO.