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IGC slashes 13m tonnes from wheat crop estimate

03.08.2010 11:30 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) The International Grains Council has slashed 13m tonnes from its estimate for the global wheat harvest, blaming the adverse weather which has plagued Canadian, European and Black Sea crops. The intergovernmental group also trimmed its forecast for world corn production, lowering its forecast for inventories of the grain to a four-year low. The cut in the world wheat crop estimate, to 651m tonnes, in 2010–11 reflected the «prolonged period of dry weather and high temperatures» which had «significantly reduced yield prospects» in Russia, Kazakhstan, parts of Ukraine and north western areas of the European Union. «Wet weather and flooding were detrimental for crops in Canada and parts of south eastern Europe,» the group added. Wheat exports from Russia, struck by its worst drought in 130 years, were now on track to fall to 15.3m tonnes, 2.7m tonnes below previous forecasts, if well above the estimates of some other analysts. Moscow-based SovEcon on Wednesday estimated shipments at 11m tonnes, while the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies earlier on Thursday pegged exports at 9.5m tonnes. The decline would be «offset by a major increase in US exports, in particular», the IGC added, raising its estimate for US shipments by 1.9m tonnes to 26.0m tonnes. council attributed the 1m-tonne reduction to its corn production forecast to a worse prospects for EU and US crops, in part offset by an improved outlook for crops in China, Indonesia and Ukraine. Even so, at 823m tonnes, the crop was on track to beat last year’s record by 18m tonnes. Nonetheless, the harvest would fall short of demand for a second successive year, the IGC said, lowering its forecast for stocks at the end of 2010–11 to a four-year low of 134m tonnes. The forecast for stocks in the US, the world’s top corn producer, was lowered «to reflect greater-than-anticipated domestic use and a reduced 2010 crop estimate».

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