World Wheat Outlook Cut on Drought in Europe, U.S., Council Says

World wheat production in the year through June 2012 will be less than forecast a month ago as dry weather in Europe and the U.S. hurts crops, the International Grains Council forecast.

Farmers around the world will reap 667.3 million metric tons of wheat in 2011-12, 4.9 million tons below the April outlook and compared with output of 649.1 million tons in 2010- 11, the London-based council said in an e-mailed report today.

Shrinking stocks of wheat and corn have lifted grain prices in the past 12 months. World food costs were close to a record in April, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. Rising food costs contributed to protests and riots across north Africa and the Middle East this year that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

“The outlook for 2011-12 wheat crops has been affected by unfavorable weather in a number of regions, especially in the EU and U.S.,” the council said.

World grain stocks will slide for a second year in 2011-12 as corn consumption outpaces production and dry weather hurts wheat prospects, according to the council.

Global grain production will rise 4 percent to 1.803 billion tons in the year through June 2012, 5 million tons less than last month’s outlook. Consumption will advance to 1.812 billion tons, eating into stockpiles, the council estimates.

Wheat prices have jumped 76 percent in Chicago in the past 12 months and climbed 64 percent in Paris while corn more than doubled in U.S. trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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