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World to harvest less wheat this year

London, January 21, 2010

The International Grains Council on Thursday forecast world wheat production in 2010 would fall to 653 million tonnes, down 21 million from an estimated 674 million in 2009 but still the third largest crop on record.

The IGC, in a monthly report, said its forecast assumed trend yields, adding world wheat harvested area was seen at 221 million hectares, down one percent from the prior season.

"Winter wheat plantings in the US were exceptionally low at 15 million hectares, due to the late harvesting of maize and soyabeans," the IGC said, adding some wheat areas in the former Soviet Union had also been exposed to frost damage.

The IGC raised its estimate of the 2009 world wheat crop by six million tonnes to 674 million, reflecting sharply higher estimates for the former Soviet Union and Canada.

World maize production in 2009 was seen at 791 million, up four million from its previous forecast and now unchanged from the 2008 crop.

The increase reflected a higher estimate for the US crop of 334.1 million tonnes, up from a previous projection of 328.0 million and the prior year's 307.1 million.

"Despite poor harvesting conditions the US crop is seen reaching a record 334 million tonnes, 27 million more than a year ago but doubts remain about quality," the IGC said.

The upward revision was partly offset by a reduced outlook in Mexico where a crop of 22.0 million tonnes was seen, down from a previous forecast of 23.5 million and 24.2 million in 2009, the IGC figures showed.   

The IGC raised its forecast for world grain stocks at the end of the 2009/10 season by 12 million tonnes to 385 million, an eight year high and up from 361 million a year earlier.

Wheat stocks were seen rising to 197 million tonnes at the end of 2009/10, up from a previous forecast of 191 million and 165 million a year earlier.

Maize stocks were put at 137 million, up from a previous forecast of 134 million but still down from 148 million at the end of the 2008/09 season. - Reuters




Tags: wheat | Grains | harvest |

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