World Wheat Production Forecast Raised on EU to Ukraine

Global wheat production will be larger than previously expected amid an improving outlook for supplies from the European Union and Ukraine, the International Grains Council said.

Wheat output worldwide will rise to a record 717 million metric tons in the 2014-15 season, higher than last month’s forecast of 713 million tons and 0.6 percent bigger than the previous year, the London-based IGC said in an e-mailed report today. The agency also raised its forecast for global corn production to 974 million tons, 0.1 percent more than the August estimate while still below last season’s record harvest of 983 million tons.

“Wheat output is already seen at its highest ever level, while prospects for exceptional yields in the U.S. and EU help to boost the global maize forecast to within 1 percent of last season’s biggest-ever crop,” the IGC wrote. “Expectations for large grains, rice and oilseeds supplies continued to weigh on global export prices.”

Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans on the Chicago Board of Trade, the global benchmark, have all tumbled to four-year lows this week amid prospects of bumper supplies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects world production of all three crops to reach records this year. The corn and soybean harvest is under way in the U.S., the top producer, while most Northern Hemisphere growers have finished collecting wheat.

EU wheat production was estimated at 153.1 million tons, higher than last month’s forecast of 150.8 million tons, the IGC said. The agency left its forecast for France’s crop, the bloc’s biggest, unchanged at 39.1 million tons while raising its estimate for Germany by 4.6 percent to 27.5 million tons.

Ukraine, Russia

Ukraine’s wheat harvest was pegged at 23 million tons, more than last month’s forecast of 21.5 million tons, the IGC said. The estimate for Russia was unchanged at 60 million tons. World inventories of wheat at the end of the 2014-15 season may total 195 million tons, unchanged from last month’s forecast while up 4.3 percent from the prior year, according to the report.

The IGC raised its forecast for U.S. corn production to 360 million tons from 355 million last month. The USDA pegs the country’s harvest at a record 365.66 million tons. Global corn inventories may rise to 191 million tons by the end of 2014-15, 8.5 percent more than the prior season, the IGC said.

“Fundamentals are broadly unchanged” for corn, compared with last month’s report, the IGC said. “Production forecasts for the U.S., EU and Russia are raised due to good yield potential. Because of drought damage, China’s crop is expected to show its first contraction in five years.”

Soybean production worldwide may rise to 310 million tons, 2 percent more than estimated last month and up from 282 million tons in the previous year, the IGC said. The forecast for rice production was cut by 0.4 percent to 476 million tons. Total global grain production may be 1.983 billion tons, compared with 1.976 billion estimated last month.

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