FAO also released a new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, which forecasts that world cereal production in 2023 will increase by 0.9 percent from the previous year to reach 2 815 million tonnes, on par with the record output realized in 2021, as SEEDS writes.
While global wheat production is set to decline by 2.6 percent from 2022, coarse grains total output is forecast to rise by 2.7 percent, with maize production seen reaching a new record of 1 215 million tonnes, buoyed by strong yields in Brazil and Ukraine.
Despite a slight downward revision since July, world rice output in 2023/24 is still seen recovering by 1.1 percent from the previous season.
World cereal utilization in the season ahead is forecast at 2 807 million tonnes, 0.8 percent above the 2022/23 level.
World cereal stocks at the close of 2023/24 marketing seasons are predicted to stand at 878 million tonnes, a 2.2-percent annual increase, pointing to a world stocks-to-use ratio for cereals of 30.5 percent, which FAO deems an “overall comfortable global supply level from a historical perspective.”
World rice stocks are forecast to reach an all-time high of 198.1 million tonnes, driven up by India which together with China are estimated to hold nearly three quarters of this volume, like in previous seasons. Aggregate rice reserves held by the rest of countries are seen ending the year with a second successive contraction to a four-year low pegged at of 51.4 million tonnes.
FAO lowered its forecast for world trade in cereals in 2023/24 to 466 million tonnes, a 1.7 percent drop from the previous marketing season. Traded volumes of wheat and maize are all predicted to decline, due to a mix of reasons, including falling exports by Ukraine due to trade disruptions associated with the ongoing war.
FAO has also lowered its forecast for world trade in rice from the July figure considering the stepped-up export restrictions by India. Although the duration of these restrictions and their extent of application are uncertain, if protracted and if El Niño induces production constraints in other Asian exporters, they could keep the predicted recovery in 2024 trade in rice modest, FAO said.
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