World cereal production will reach a new high of almost 2 500 million tonnes, including rice in milled terms, according to new FAO estimates. The figure is almost 8.4 percent more than last year and some 6 percent above the previous record in 2011, according to the latest issue of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report.
While global cereal production is expected to increase, FAO warned that food security conditions in several parts of Africa and elsewhere are deteriorating.
International food prices stable
The FAO Food Price Index, also published today, remained stable in November. It averaged 206.3 points last month, almost unchanged from the revised value of 206.6 points in October, but 9.5 points (4.4 percent) below its November 2012 value. A sharp decline in sugar prices last month nearly offset the rise in oils. Cereals averaged slightly lower, but meat and dairy values were stable.
The latest estimates for world cereal production mostly reflect adjustments to estimates of maize output in the United States, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which became firmer towards the completion of the harvests.
Based on the latest figures, the overall increase in world cereal output this year comprises a rise of 7.8 percent in wheat production, of 12 percent for coarse grains, and of only 1 percent for rice.
Early prospects for the winter wheat crop, already planted in the northern hemisphere, to be harvested in 2014, are mostly favourable.
World cereal stocks are predicted to increase to 572 million tonnes by the close of the 2014 crop seasons, which is 13.4 percent, or nearly 68 million tonnes, more than in the previous year. This forecast is almost 9 million tonnes higher than reported in November, reflecting upward revisions to ending stocks of wheat and coarse grains, while ending rice inventories were reduced slightly.
The sharp expansion in world cereal stocks this season would result in the global cereal stocks-to-use ratio reaching 23.5 percent, well above the historical low of 18.4 percent registered in 2007/08.
Thursday December 5, 2013/ FAO.