IGC Raises Estimate for Global Corn Production for 7th Month

The International Grains Council lifted its estimate for global corn production for a seventh month, predicting a near-record crop.

Farmers will gather 982.3 million metric tons of corn in 2014-15, 2.6 million tons more than forecast in October as harvests in the Northern Hemisphere deliver above-average yields, the London-based IGC wrote in a report today. That compares to record output of 984.3 million tons in 2013-14.

An abundance of grain has driven down prices, with corn and soybean prices reaching a five-year low in September. A measure of food costs tracked by the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization has fallen for the past seven months, the longest drop since 2009.

Corn inventories worldwide will be 195 million tons at the end of this season, IGC said, up from a previous forecast of 194 million tons. Stockpiles at the end of 2013-14 were 176 million. Corn is down 7.2 percent this year to $3.915 a bushel.

In China, the harvest will probably be 216 million tons, 2.2 million tons more than predicted a month ago and the estimate for the European Union was raised to 73.4 million tons from 72.9 million tons. The IGC said it expects U.S. farmers to reap 365 million tons, unchanged from its October outlook.

Algerian Wheat

The intergovernmental group cut its forecast for wheat output worldwide on smaller harvests from Algeria and Egypt. Wheat output worldwide will be 717.2 million tons this season, the IGC said, trimming its outlook from 717.6 million tons last month. Production in the previous season was 712.5 million tons.

Algeria’s crop is seen at 1.9 million tons, compared with 3 million tons expected previously and 3.3 million tons a year earlier, the report showed. The country is North Africa’s second-biggest wheat buyer, behind Egypt.

Supplies of wheat at the end of the season are predicted to climb to 193 million tons this season from 187 million tons the previous year, according to the IGC. It left its estimate of inventories stable.

The outlook for soybean production worldwide was raised to 308 million tons from last month’s forecast of 307 million tons. That compares with 284 million tons in the previous season.

The IGC cut its global rice production estimate by 1 million tons to 475 million tons. That compares with 476 million tons last season.

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