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World Corn Outlook Cut by International Grains Council

August 1, 2013
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World corn production will be lower in the 2013-14 season than predicted a month ago as the outlook for the U.S. harvest was cut, the International Grains Council said. The forecast for wheat output was raised.

Corn output may rise to 942.4 million metric tons from 859.1 million tons in 2012-13, the London-based IGC wrote in an e-mailed report, trimming its outlook by 3.6 million tons from an estimate on July 1. Ending stocks will still climb from the previous season as production grows faster than usage, according to the council.

Corn prices have slumped 32 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade this year, the biggest such decline in more than 50 years, as U.S. farmers are expected to harvest a record crop. The grain is the second-worst performer this year on the S&P GSCI Commodity Index, behind silver.

"Prices have fallen sharply through July as benign weather conditions have reinforced good output prospects," the IGC said. "With record crops forecast in the U.S., China and Ukraine, world production is forecast to increase 10 percent."

The harvest will lift end-of-season corn stocks to 148 million tons from 120 million tons, the IGC forecast, lowering its July prediction by 1 million tons. Inventories in the four biggest exporters will rise to a nine-year high, it said.

The U.S. corn crop may rise to 350 million tons from 273.8 million tons in the previous season, the IGC said, cutting its forecast by 5 million tons from a month earlier. The outlook for Ukraine was raised by 1 million tons to 24 million tons, climbing from 20.9 million tons in 2012.

 

Wheat Forecast

 

Farmers across the world are forecast to reap 686.9 million tons of wheat, up from a 2012-13 crop estimated at 653.6 million tons and 3.8 million tons more than a July outlook, according to the IGC.

Estimates were raised for the wheat crop in the European Union, as well as India and the U.S. The outlook for production in China was maintained at 118 million tons, down from 120.6 million tons in 2012.

Wheat imports by China are forecast to climb to 7 million tons from 3.5 million tons, based on quality issues for the country’s domestic crop, according to the council.

Global stocks of wheat are predicted to increase to 176 million tons from 175 million tons a year earlier, while 5 million tons less than previously expected after revisions to historical inventory numbers, according to the IGC.

Total output of grains excluding rice may climb to 1.92 billion tons from an estimated 1.79 billion tons in 2012-13, the IGC wrote.

World rice production is seen rising to 476 million tons from 469 million tons, lifting stocks to 109 million tons from 107 million tons, the council forecast, leaving its outlook unchanged from last month.

 

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