The International Grain Council (IGC) has raised its estimate of 2011-12 total global grain stocks by 9 million metric tons (MMT) from last month to 369 MMT, which is still down 1 MMT from the previous year. IGC boosted its global wheat stocks estimate by 4 MMT from last month to 204 MMT (195 MMT last season) and raised its global corn stocks estimate by 2 MMT to 125 MMT (131 MMT last season).
"The global grains outlook for 2011-12 eased somewhat in the past two months as crop estimates for wheat and maize were revised upwards, notably in China. At a record 1.830 MMT, the total production figure is 14 MMT higher than before and exceeds last year’s by 80 MMT," notes IGC. "However, uncertainty remains about the size of key maize [corn] crops still to be harvested in South America and southern Africa. A long spell of hot and dry weather has cut yield prospects in Argentina and Brazil, also reducing export forecasts."
IGC says the higher world crop figure is partly balanced by increased use estimates, especially in the feed and industrial sectors, bringing the global consumption forecast to 1.831 MMT, broadly matching production. "While total carryover stocks are therefore placed higher than before, now only marginally below last season’s figure, they remain historically low. Moreover, aggregate end-season stocks in the major grain exporters, while also placed higher than before, at 130 MMT, will remain smaller than last year’s already much-reduced total (137 MMT). Wheat stocks will rise but those of maize and barley are expected to decline. A significant expansion in trade is expected in 2011-12, to 253 MMT, boosted by near-record wheat buying, especially of medium and lower grades, and an upturn in barley."