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Forecast: Cereal markets in 2017/18

Worldwide cereal production in 2017 is projected at 2,597 million tonnes, just 9 million tonnes short of the record set in 2016, according to the latest FAO Cereal Supply and Demand report.

Nearly all of the decrease in world cereal production from last year reflects an anticipated fall in the wheat output to 740 million tonnes, representing a 2.7% (20.3 million tonnes) decline from 2016.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Smaller projected outputs in Australia, Canada and the United States, due mainly to price-induced planting cuts, account for most of this decline. While smaller harvests are also anticipated in Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, a strong rebound in production is projected for the EU and Morocco.

By contrast, total production of coarse grains in 2017 is provisionally put at a new record level of 1 353 million tonnes, up 0.5% (6.4 million tonnes) year-on-year. Most of the anticipated increase would reflect a higher maize output, which, at 1,051 million tonnes, would stand 1.2% (12.8 million tonnes) above last year's record. The increase would mostly stem from a surge in production in Brazil as well as Argentina, coupled with a significant rebound in South Africa's production from the drought-reduced level of 2016. However, a large proportion of this increase is expected to be negated by a downturn in the United States, where maize production is expected to fall sharply from the record high of 2016.

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