Raw materials

News last update:14 Jan 2016

Lower world total grains

The projection for world total grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in 2015/16 is 3m t lower m/m (month-on-month), at 1,996m, about 2% below last season’s record.

Nearly all the m/m decrease is for maize (corn), with a higher estimate in the US offset by drought-related reductions in Ethiopia, South Africa and China. Consumption is expected to show a fractional y/y (year-on-year) gain to 1,992m t, mainly on a sustained rise in food demand.

Less sorghum

The feed use figure is slightly lower than before owing to likely reduced uptake of imported sorghum in China. The anticipated cut in sorghum shipments to that country is reflected in a downward revision to total grains trade, to 314m t. With US exports of sorghum likely to be curtailed, more is expected to be used locally in place of maize, including for ethanol and feed. The global grains stocks forecast is unchanged m/m, at a 29-year high of 454m t.

More soybeans

The projection of world soybean production in 2015/16 is lifted by 2m t, to 321m, matching last year's all-time peak. However, reflecting a reduced figure for opening stocks, coupled with an upward revision to total use, the forecast of aggregate carryovers is down slightly from October, with most of the adjustment due to the major exporters. Nevertheless, at 46.7m t, inventories would still be up by 4% y/y at a fresh high. The outlook for trade is upgraded to about 129m t, with China's needs accounting for the modest y/y rise. Brazil is seen as the largest exporter in 2015/16, its shipments significantly exceeding those by the US.

Rice remains unchanged

Global rice output in 2015/16 is forecast broadly unchanged from October, at around 474m t, a marginal fall from the previous year's record. Owing to smaller opening stocks and with consumption likely to expand to a new peak, global end-season reserves are anticipated to tighten markedly, by 12%, to 94m t – mostly on steep declines in the major exporters. Projected trade is maintained at 41.5m t, down fractionally y/y, but well above average on firm demand from buyers in Asia in particular.

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