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Record global cereal production to boost stocks

03.07.2020 14:10 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) World cereal production is poised to reach a new record level of 2 790 million tonnes in 2020 — up 9.3 million tonnes from the May forecast — surpassing the record-high registered in 2019 by as much as 3.0 percent, according to FAO’s Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, also released.

Wheat production forecasts have been raised for India and the Russian Federation, more than offsetting a cutback to the EU and the UK expected outputs.

The forecast of world coarse grains production in 2020 has also been revised up to 1 519 million tonnes, up 5.7 million tonnes from the previous month, reflecting expectations of larger outputs of barley in Australia, the EU and Turkey.

FAO’s global rice production forecast for 2020 is now pegged at 509.2 million tonnes, 400 000 tonnes above June’s figure, primarily reflecting improved prospects for South American countries, where conducive weather raised yield expectations to all time-highs.

World cereal utilization in the year ahead is forecast to rise to 2 735 million tonnes — 1.6 percent up from the previous month’s forecast, mostly driven by an upturn in feed and industrial uses of coarse grains compared to earlier expectations. World rice utilization is also predicted to reach a fresh peak of 510.4 million tonnes in 2020/21, 1.6 percent up from June, based on expanding food use.

Reflecting new production and consumption forecasts, FAO now expects world cereal stocks by the end of seasons in 2021 to reach 929 million tonnes, representing a robust year-on-year expansion of 6.0 percent. This would drive the global cereal stock-to-use ratio in 2020/21 to a twenty-year high of 33.0 percent, highlighting the comfortable global supply prospects in the new season.

Food assistance needs to grow as pandemic hits incomes

While conflicts and weather shocks remain critical factors underpinning the high levels of severe food insecurity in countries requiring external assistance for food, the COVID-19 pandemic is also having wide-ranging and severe effects, particularly through the loss of income, according to the quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, also published today.

The report offers a special feature with regional roundups of the pandemic’s impacts.

Despite these issues, the global cereal harvest is on track for growth in all regions, except for Europe. Cereal production in Africa in 2020 is projected to increase by 1.0 percent, although declines are expected in northern, western and central regions of the continent.

FAO’s forecast for the aggregate cereal output of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries in the 2020/21 season stands at 492.7 million tonnes, which is 6.0 percent above the average and would mark a fifth consecutive annual production increase. However, populations are growing even faster and the overall cereal import requirement for LIFDCs is estimated at 73.4 milion tonnes, up around 5 percent from the previous year, which also reflects production downturns in several countries.

The report also lists the following 44 countries (List and Map), of which 34 in Africa, in need of external food assistance: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Agro Perspectiva

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03.07.2020
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