The revisions mostly reflect improved expectations for U.S. maize production. Meanwhile, FAO lowered its estimate for global wheat output in 2019 due to reduced crop productivity in the European Union and the Russian Federation, but it is still expected to be 5.0 percent higher than in 2018. The forecast for worldwide rice production has been revised up from July to 517 million tonnes, at par with last year's record level, driven by increases in China and the United States.
World cereal utilization for the year ahead is expected to hit a new record of 2 715 million tonnes, buoyed by rice consumption hitting an all-time high of 519 million tonnes, translating into a 0.5 kilogram per capita increase from the previous year. Utilization forecasts for wheat, maize and barley were also raised.
The stronger harvest prospects point to world cereal stocks reaching 847 million tonnes by the close of seasons in 2020, which, however, would remain around 16 million tonnes below their opening levels. Maize inventories are expected to accumulate sharply in the United States, while China's wheat stocks are currently set to expand by 7.9 percent and reach an all-time high.
FAO left unchanged its forecast for world trade in cereals at nearly 415 million tonnes, as expected increases in wheat and rice trade offset reduced trade prospects for maize and sorghum.
Thursday September 5, 2019/ FAO.