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World wheat crop to fall

London, March 26, 2009

World wheat production should fall to 651 million tonnes in 2009/10, down from a record 688 million in 2008/09 with area expected to fall by one percent, the International Grains Council said.

Wheat carry-over stocks for 2009/10 were, however, seen rising by 11 million to 171 million with consumption expected to fall to 640 million from 643 million in 2008/09 due to a drop in animal feed use, the IGC said in a monthly report.

"There are some indications of weakening grain demand, especially for animal feed, due to financial and economic difficulties in many countries," the report said.

The IGC said wheat stocks in five major exporters -- Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Union and the United States -- were expected to reach their highest level for four seasons.

The IGC also forecast the 2009/10 world maize crop at 775 million tonnes, down from 782 million in 2008/09 and a record 787 million in 2007/08.

"Maize plantings have begun in the northern hemisphere, but there is still uncertainty about growers' intentions, especially in the US, where some farmers may prefer soybeans, especially if wet conditions persist," the report said.

The IGC said maize areas may also be lower in the European Union and former Soviet Union although there could be gains in other major producers including China. - Reuters




Tags: Maize | wheat |

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