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World Wheat Outlook Raised by IGC on Increased China Estimate

World wheat production in the current season will be higher than predicted a month ago on an increased estimate for leading global grower China, the International Grains Council said.

The harvest will jump to 698.4 million metric tons, 2 million tons more than the October outlook, from 654.9 million tons in the 2012-13 season, the London-based council wrote in a report today. It also raised the outlook for corn.

Wheat slumped 25 percent in Chicago trading in the past 12 months, the fifth-biggest drop in the S&P GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials, on an outlook for increased output. Corn is the worst performer, plunging 44 percent.

“So far this year, harvests have generally been better than expected,” the IGC wrote. “While some of the output increase is set to be absorbed by higher use, a substantial surplus is expected and end-season stocks are seen up.”

Inventories of wheat and coarse grains such as corn are predicted to climb to a four-year high of 379 million tons at the end of the 2013-14 season from 338 million tons a year earlier, according to the group. It raised the outlook for carryover stocks by 5 million tons.

Wheat production in China was set at 120 million tons, 2 million tons more than a month ago and little changed from the previous season’s 120.6 million tons.

Global corn production is forecast to climb to 949.8 million tons from 862.7 million tons, with the outlook lifted by 1.4 million tons on bigger harvests in the Black Sea region, the report showed.

Wheat futures fell 2.2 percent in Chicago since the end of September. Prices gained 3.7 percent that month amid concern adverse weather might curb production in the Black Sea region and Argentina.

The council cut its global rice-harvest estimate by 3 million tons to 471 million tons, still up from 469 tons a year earlier. Soybean production in 2013-14 is predicted to climb to 285 million tons, 3 million tons more than last month’s prediction, from 271 million tons.

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