Record Global Supplies for Wheat and Rice
10.04.2020 10:35 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) —
According to the report of the USDA Grain: World Markets and Trade (April 2020), in the wake of COVID-19, concerns have emerged over food security. Some countries have placed trade-restrictive measures, while others have issued tenders for more purchases. Consequently, prices have rallied for both wheat and rice, even though global supplies are at record levels and the share of stocks to consumption is historically high.
Wheat: Global wheat production is estimated at a record high in 2019/20. Major producers such as China, the European Union, India, Russia, and the United States have produced at levels that are more than sufficient to meet rising global demand. Furthermore, wheat harvests in major producing countries in the Northern Hemisphere are only a few months away.
Wheat ending stocks are also projected at a record with China holding about half of global stocks. Furthermore, India, the world’s third-largest producer, has ending stocks projected at a 7-year high on several consecutive years of bumper crops. The top eight global wheat exporters1 hold about 20 percent of global stocks. Although these exporter ending stocks are projected to tighten in 2019/20, they are at sufficient levels to support forecast trade.
Rice: Although several regions’ production levels are down year-over-year, a bumper 2019/20 global rice harvest is still expected, with production just around half a percent lower from the prior year record. Southeast Asian production is down on the effects of drought in the region, particularly in Thailand and Vietnam. China’s production was down slightly, but the government has been encouraging the early planting of rice for the 2020/21 crop. Western Hemisphere production is lower primarily due to the reduced U.S. crop last summer. Partially offsetting these declines is a larger crop in India, the second-largest producer.
Even with lower production, overall supplies are up from the prior year because of record carryin stocks. Stocks are particularly high in China and India, both major exporters. Despite the current tumultuous market and some production declines in Southeast Asia, 2019/20 ending stocks are still forecast 3 percent higher than 2018/19 ending stocks.
Although some trade-restrictive measures have been put in place, global wheat and rice supplies are at record levels and are large enough to meet global demand.